Transit Tehran: Young Iran and Its Inspirations
Like other international cities, Tehran is filled with the religious, the irreligious and the indifferent. However, for a capital much in the news, its secrets are well-guarded – parties where the kids let rip; falling in love with someone whose face is never seen; random breath-testing of pedestrians for alcohol; religious acceptance of transsexuals; needle exchanges in public parks; and martyrdom demonstrations.
In Transit Tehran, city-insiders, rappers, artists, writers and photojournalists provide essays and picture stories to bring the city to life. Contributors include Newsha Tavakolian, named Best Young Photographer of 2006 by National Geographic, Abbas Kowsari, Javad Montazeri and Omid Salehi, who have continued to document the social transformation of their country in the face of mass closures of newspapers and magazines by the government.
Things are never what they seem in the art of Sadegh Tirafkan, the new feminist journalism of Asieh Amini, and the romance Shi’a-style by new fiction talent Alireza Mahmoodi-Iranmehr. Above all, Transit Tehran celebrates the country’s long tradition of artistic and cultural resistance that has influenced young Iranians, noticeably in the work of veteran editor and journalist Masoud Behnoud, photojournalist Kaveh Golestan, premier satirist and illustrator Ardeshir Mohassess, and photographer Mohsen Rastani.
About the editors
Malu Halasa is an editor and journalist. She is co-editor of Creating Spaces of Freedom: Culture in Defiance (Saqi Books, 2004), Transit Beirut: New Writing and Images (Saqi Books, 2004), Kaveh Golestan 1950–2003: Recording the Truth in Iran (Hatje Cantz, 2007) and The Secret Life of Syrian Lingerie (Chronicle Books, 2008). Former managing editor of the Prince Claus Fund Library and a founding editor of Tank magazine, she writes for the British press.
Maziar Bahari has been a journalist and filmmaker for the past ten years. His films include And Along Came a Spider, Mohammad and the Matchmaker, The Voyage of the St Louis, Targets: Reporters in Iraq and Greetings from Sadr City. He is the only filmmaker who has worked consistently in Iraq since the 2003 invasion. Maziar Bahari writes for Newsweek from Tehran and makes news documentaries for Channel Four and the BBC. His plays include A Fairly Justified Revenge and Abu Ghraib.
“Maziar Bahari, one of the very finest Iranian journalists still shining a light on his homeland, has coedited with Malu Halasa, a truly insightful account of the real Iran – the Iran we never hear above the hubbub of rhetoric and allegation. This is the Iran so many of us who travel there know and both admire and think about. It is the Iran that defies politics and economics and remains somehow simply Persian.”, Jon Snow, Channel 4 News
“Tehran is a city literally, photographically, musically, and sexually seething with tiny (and sometimes not so tiny) acts of rebellion, in which swarms of mostly anonymous young Iranians experiment with ways to test the limits of freedom. The evidence that they do so with such panache, creativity, and often courage, is to be found in this wonderful book of brilliant essays and evocative photographs. That they do so may be a cause of concern to the government of Iran. It should be the source of great reassurance to all who believe in the power of the human spirit.”, Ted Koppel, Managing Editor, Discovery Channel
“Transit Tehran is one long, refreshing, sometimes funny and often disturbing surprise. Too many portrayals of Iranian society are as superficial as a chador. This book looks at the body and soul of a people — a young people — who have an ancient culture that is wonderfully cosmopolitan, a recent history that is deeply troubled, and hopes for the future that are inextinguishable.”, Christopher Dickey, author and journalist
“A wonderfully illustrative view of Iran’s young, hip and avant garde. Westerners take note: They are here and will be heard.”, Fareed Zakaria, Editor of Newsweek International
Page extent: 240pp
Size: 300 x 240mm
Illustrations: c. 300 colour & 50 b&w photographs and art reproductions
Imprint: Garnet Publishing
Published: February 2009