Spanning twenty kilometers, Valiasr Street is de longest street in the Iranian capital of Teheran. In this metropolis of 14 million people, Valiasr Street represents the center of cultural life and is a major commercial center and nightlife area.
Jörg Winde’s photographic anecdotes, supplemented by short texts, depict the people who live and work along the street. The photographs reflect an attentiveness and closeness to the subjects and bear witness to the contradictory lives of people in Iran today. The close-ups of faces of people from a variety of backgrounds reveal how they openly and trustingly faced the photographer. Overviews and details in the surroundings provide us with deeper stories about the lives of these people. Large- format street views of urban traffic chaos against the scenic backdrop of the mighty, snow- covered Alborz Mountains complement the portraits.
Mahmoud Dowlatabadi, the famous Iranian writer and observer of social conditions and the human psyche, contributes a personally- narrated essay for the volume. As well, Charotte Wiedemann, a journalist and author of books on Islamic culture, provides a knowledgeable and exciting historical account of Teheran, intertwined with her personal impressions.
This book represents a contribution to the understanding of Iran, especially in view of the country’s current importance in the center of geopolitical disputes in the Middle East.