“For a long time, parents in Iran believed good girls didn’t dance in public.” Shirin Abedi returned to her native city Tehran for a photography project on ballerinas.
Text: Finn Winkler Fotos: Shirin Abedi
After the Islamic Revolution of 1979, a ban on dancing was enacted in Iran. Despite this, or perhaps because of it, Shirin Abedi is fascinated by the subject.She researches for months. But at first, she doesn’t dare to take pictures because dancing is still not a matter for young women in Iran today. “For a long time, parents in Iran believed good girls didn’t laugh or dance in public,” the photographer said. But with the new generation comes a rethinking of society.
One day, she comes across the Instagram channel of the Iranian ballet group “Alternative Motion”. She knows that she wants to photograph the subject. This eventually led to the photo series “May I have this dance”, which would later win numerous awards, including the Felix Schöller Award, the German Youth Photo Award and the ProfiFoto New Talent Award.
In 2021, Shirin Abedi graduated from Hochschule Hannover. When she looks back on her studies, she remembers: “The lecturers taught me a lot for my whole life.” It was her studies that allowed her to become herself. Her photographs are published in Stern, Zeit Online, and brandeins.
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