Born in 1981 in Tehran, Hannah Darabi is an Iranian artist and photographer. She studied at Tehran’s College of Fine Arts and then at the University of Paris VIII-Saint-Denis. Although she now lives in Paris, her country of origin remains the main subject of most of her photographic series, in which her photographs interact with other materials, such as text, archival images, and objects, so as to show the unique political situation and economic conditions in her country.
Published on the occasion of the exhibition Hannah Darabi – Enghelab Street, A Revolution through Books: Iran 1979–1983, the publication presents a variety of photographic and propaganda books published between 1979 and 1983 all collected by Iranian artist Hannah Darabi.
It is on show at Le Bal, Paris from 09 January – 11 February. The exhibition will end on February 11, anniversary date of the Iranian revolution, with a day of general discussion and conferences coordinated by Chowra Makaremi.
The period of tumult and instability of power that extended from the end of the Shah’s regime in 1977 to the consolidation of the post-revolutionary state in 1983 provided a window—unique in contemporary Iranian history—of freedom for the production and distribution of books. At a time when audiovisual technologies did not yet possess the flexibility, ease of use, and distribution that they do today, these works played a key role in the political and social scenes. This transitional period between two regimes provides an opportunity to observe Iranian society by freeing ourselves from the idea of the revolution as a clean break.
This avid consumption of reading matter demonstrates a dual and sometimes even ambivalent movement that defined a generation: the desire to both reach out to the outside world and the need to affirm a « modern » Iranian national identity free of imperialism. These few years stand out on their own in terms of the country’s publishing history. The creation and distribution of books would never be as unfettered as it was during this period. Nevertheless, at the same moment, books were also progressively becoming instruments of political propaganda and publishing became the laboratory in which to experiment with every form of dissemination of emotions, ideologies, and opinions. This propaganda operated through the production of texts, but also, and especially as of 1979, through visual and pictorial production. — Chowra Makaremi
Format: 24 x 33.5 cm | Pages: 540 pages | 750 illustrations | Binding: Softcover.