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BEHIND THE SCENES

24.09.2014

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"After some sleep - first time of having the option of lying horizontally in 36 hours - I forced myself out around noon. Tap water is not drinkable here, thus first priority after exchanging money was to buy a gallon of water. Though buying water is less a challenge than cooling it down in moist 30 °C with unpredictable but regular daily power cut.

So far everyone is surprised that I'm not a local and asks where I come from, whether the local grocer, the shared cab driver or the sandwich vendor - if I answer Iran - the reaction might be slightly afraid or hostile among Armenians and Sunnis. On murals in the Armenian neighbourhoods you see stamps stating in stricken black font "Eastern Turkey" and suggesting the term "Occupied Armenia" in red instead.

Later though I had lunch at an Armenian snack bar: grilled lamb testicles in flat bread. There I got involved into a talk with the owner, who knew a lot about Iranian politics and also told me about his experiences with cab drivers in Munich and prostitutes in St. Pauli by whom he had been afraid to get robbed about 20 years ago.

The best way to get used to the area and surroundings is to get lost; by doing so, I ran past a slaughterhouse which I first recognized by the aggressive bittersweet smell in the air long before reading "المسلخ" on its gate. Shortly after, close to the port, I came across the surreal scenery you see on the picture. Don't ask me for a caption, as it is what it is. Photographically speaking, I feel yet too fascinated by folkloric elements, but this should lay down within a week and I then can hopefully work my way through to the essence."

Kaveh Rostamkhani, Beirut, August 10th, 2014

Kaveh Rostamkhani

Kaveh Rostamkhani was born in Teheran but grew up in Germany. Even before he began studying photojournalism and documentary photography at a college in Hanover, Rostamkhani was working as an agency photographer. In the middle of his studies he changed to the University of Wales, Newport, where he graduated. In addition to personal projects and commissioned assignments for various newspapers and magazines, Rostamkhani works as a free-lance photographer for a number of publications and NGOs. Rostamkhani lives in Berlin.
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