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.
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