It’s been years that we live together and at each period, certain qualities in her amazed me. After five years since the start of this project, I inspect this coexistence with more focus and much care.
Marzieh, my 71 years old grandmother lived 28 years of her life under the Pahlavi regime (former non- Islamic and royal government), went through the Revolution in her prime youth years and year by year got used to the ways of the new regime, the “Islamic Republic.” She was forced suddenly to change her lifestyle, her dress code, her friends, her social life, and her hobbies. A girl born in a village, raised by the rules of the previous regime, grows older, moves to a city, gets married, gives birth to her child, and in the new regime continues her journey in life and becomes an old woman living alone. The narration of her days and some of her contradictory behaviors does not just lead to this old woman s personal life, and I have also seen many of her descendants having similar behavioral dimensions for years.
What remains of her past is a combination of behaviors and thoughts that got her through all these years and compromise with them, and old photos from those lost years, fading memories of glory. My grandma certainly looks different from her old photos but for me, her feminine seductive side is more prominent in these recent years, especially after losing her “man”, ten years ago. Her home became her territory and hers alone. But nothing can wash away her depression, no dress can cover her decay, and more than any dress, her “nudity” is the thing that loses to that beautiful decay. Like the firefly that endures the cocoon prison until it’s time to tear it apart and the born butterfly to practice flight, and after soaring, it’s time to go down, calm down, and even Despite its wrinkled wings, it is still stunning butterfly.
What makes us notice that a certain individual has in fact “changed”, is Seeing the change in looks, manners, thoughts, or attitude of that person, I guess. There is no escape from physical or physiological changes in our bodies. These changes are sometimes so overwhelming that makes a person change her way of thought or her lifestyle because of them even without her noticing.
Many social, environmental factors can cause change. Your family, your language, your neighborhood, your city, your country, or even the continent that you were born in or the type of government that ruled your homeland. People and their governments feed on each other and if a government is in sync with its people, those people will act and live the same when they’re in their homes or when they’re at work, or when they’re walking down the streets.
The rebellious nature of youth automatically causes a denial or resistance to the dictatorship regime. While adults and the elderly with more mature survival instincts, try to tune down their feelings and their ambitions according to the ruling regime. Swimming in the opposite direction of the water has many consequences and most people can not. These psychological factors will lead to the existence of double and even multiple lives under the skin of the city. Pretending to abide by the rules in public spaces and having a different and some contradictory face in private is the most obvious effect of these coercions. But determining the behavior of citizens in detail by the government and taking personal authority to choose a religion, beliefs, and prejudices, has the greatest effect on the alienation of a person with its heart beliefs. Beliefs that every human being should reach that worldview in the path of growth and perfection and voluntarily, and if they are dictated to the individual by the system of government, man over time, do not feel belonging to those beliefs and puts herself in his choices misleads.
However, my series depicts the mood of a woman from the distant past, in the present, in an underground house that is unaware of the hustle and bustle of the world but the images show that the world and the rulers who make its artificial and expedient laws from outside. They have a direct impact on all the conscious or unconscious behaviors of her and other people in that society, From the basic decisions of their lives to their seemingly insignificant routines, of which I have put only her life under the microscope and highlighted it to show the complexity of the inner world of human beings with the simplest signs.