Solmaz Daryani

Location: United Kingdom
Nationality: Iranian
Biography: I am a self-taught Iranian photojournalist and documentary photographer based in Tabriz, Iran and Newcastle, UK. My personal work explores the connections between socio-economic drought, climate change migration, water crisis, and the environment... read on
Photography in Collaboration: On Religion
solmaz daryani
May 12, 2017

I was able to start a collaborative photography project named "A sacred and Sullied space" with the support of the Magnum Foundation. The project became a learning experience for me with collaboration and help of Sasha von Oldershausen and other expert advisors.

In August 2016,five collaborative teams were selected by an independent jury to explore the topic of religion with production grants made possible by the Henry Luce foundation. Photography in collaboration can produce uniquely effective storytelling and expand our knowledge of the politically significant and vastly complex ways that religion impacts our lives.

Throughout a journey into the Mandaeans's world and everyday lives and practices, this story explores the untold dimensions of being an ethnoreligious minority in Ahvaz, in southwestern Iran. The Mandaeans believe that natural flowing waters are pure, sacred, and life-giving, despite this, the Karun river, in which they practice their religious rituals, is becoming ever more polluted. They baptize in the Karun, imbibe it, and worship it. The sacred yet sullied river blurs the boundaries of the long-existing dichotomy of sacredness of religiosity and profanity of contamination, as the Mandaeans are occasionally and arbitrarily labeled as Najis, ritually unclean, by the Muslim community of Ahvaz. This twofold tension between the Mandaeans' imagery of the purity of the Karun river and the Muslim community's image of Mandaeans as ritually unclean as well as the reality of the pollution of the Karun river shape the story.


By Solmaz Daryani —

Media News

In Afghanistan, climate change complicates future prospects for peace

By Solmaz Daryani — As the US ponders its future involvement in Afghanistan, we underestimate climate change as one major threat that will cause increased regional..
Events News

UNDP exhibition at Photoville

By Solmaz Daryani — My long-term project "The eyes of Earth" featured in UNDP's exhibit on inequality and climate change at Photoville in Brooklyn, New..

In The Desert of Iran's Wetlands published in L'OBS Magazine

By Solmaz Daryani — A portfolio of my ongoing project published in L'Obs Magazine. The story is about socio-economic drought, Climate migration, Climate change and..

PhotogrVphy Grant 2018 awards announced

By Solmaz Daryani — I am very delighted to receive the Second Place, 2018 PhotogrVphy Grant in the category of Climate for my series 'Hamoun Wetland to..
Environment News


By Solmaz Daryani — Efforts to save Lake Urmia — once a favorite getaway for Iranians — might be too little, too late. Iran’s Lake Urmia once boasted..

The revealer

By Solmaz Daryani — A SACRED, SULLIED SPACE: A cluster of Mandaeans convene at the open shores of the Karun River on a bright Sunday for the baptism ceremony of a..


By Solmaz Daryani — PondyPHOTO, a biennale festival initiated by PondyART, is a platform where art and education attempt to break existing social barriers, by..

It's great to see that Lake Urmia project Published in current issue of Foreign Policy Magazine.

By Solmaz Daryani — Troubled Waters  Iran’s Lake Urmia once boasted flocks of flamingos and swarms of tourists eager to swim in salty waters that covered an area..

Shortlisted as D&AD Next Photographer Award 2016

By Solmaz Daryani — Getty Images and D&AD are thrilled to present to you the Next Photographer Shortlist including eighteen of the world's most talented up and..

Delighted to be one of the selected photographers by Elizabeth Krist for the Visura Instagram Open call!

By Solmaz Daryani — Delighted that Lake Urmia project will be featured and introduced by long-time National Geographic Senior Photo Editor Elizabeth Cheng Krist..
Awards News

The winners of the sixth and final edition of the IdeasTap Photographic Award

By Solmaz Daryani — 22 December 2015:  The winners of the sixth and final edition of the IdeasTap Photographic Award, in association with Magnum Photos, have..
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