Solmaz Daryani

Photographer
    
A SACRED, SULLIED SPACE
Location: United Kingdom
Nationality: Iranian
Biography: Solmaz Daryani is an Iranian documentary photographer loosely based between Iran and the UK. She is a grantee of the Magnum Foundation, National Geographic Society grantee, and a member of Women Photograph and Diversify Photo. Her work is mainly... read on
Public Story
A SACRED, SULLIED SPACE
Copyright solmaz daryani 2021
Date of Work 12/31/69 - Ongoing
Updated 12/12/18
Location Ahvaz,Iran

In Iran, their numbers are estimated to be somewhere between 5,000 and 10,000, though no census count exists. Not officially recognized by Iran’s constitution, they lack opportunities that the Shia Muslim majority is afforded. the Mandaeans suffer varying degrees of discrimination in education and employment.

Throughout a journey into the Mandaeans' 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 during religious ceremonies.

The sacred yet sullied river blurs the boundaries of the long-existing dichotomy of the 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.

Ongoing Project
12,018

Also by Solmaz Daryani —

VISUAL STORY

THE EYES OF EARTH (THE DEATH OF LAKE URMIA 2014-ONGOING)

By Solmaz Daryani / Iran East-Azebaijan Urmia Lake — The Eyes Of Earth "A lake is earth's eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of..
VISUAL STORY

IN THE DESERT OF WETLANDS

By Solmaz Daryani / iran — My homeland, Iran, is mainly suffering from water scarcity and socioeconomic drought, where, water..
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