Iranian Photographer Shadi Ghadirian juxtaposes objects found around the home with weapons usually used in war. The shocking combination serves to humanize the daily experiences of war, explores how war impacts civilians, and considers how war can change domestic life.
IMOW: What drew you to photography?
Shadi Ghadirian: I love photography because it is fast enough for me. As soon as you push the button you can see the result!
In what ways is your work influenced by your identity as a Muslim woman?
I never think about these things! It is my life, and I feel it every day. When I am working, I don't think, “I am a woman and I am Muslim, so what should I do?” If you can tell that I am Muslim from my art it is because my identity is in my art, and this happens naturally.
What are you trying to get across to your viewers?
My first viewers are always Iranian because I show my work first in Iran and then abroad. Normally Iranians can understand my stories because these are their stories too. I believe that I am story teller. I just want to show a part of reality.
In Nil, Nil, you have objects that are typically feminine and then those that are typically masculine. For instance, an image of red pumps juxtaposed with leather army boots splattered with blood. Can you talk about this image briefly? It's incredibly powerful.
In the Nil, Nil series you can see another point of view on war. In the image with the pumps, I want to show everyday life and war simultaneously. I wanted to show how war is reflected inside the home—what happens to the other members of the family who stayed at home and are now waiting. I also wanted to show what life is like when somebody comes back from war, and that many things change after war.