Iran 41 years later
A visit to Iran, specifically Persepolis and Esfahan 41 years after my Mum. I took some of her photos for comparison… not a lot had changed.
I grew up listening to my Mum’s tales of travelling overland from Sydney to London in 1975, of being held a gun point for a night by some rather bored Argentinean rebels and of being in Moscow when Elvis died, but I always knew Iran, and Persepolis had a special place in her heart.
Iran was a place she loved and before I ventured there I dug out some of her old photo slides, had the photos printed and took them with me. Shooting on film meant she only took a few shots and most of them were in Persepolis and the Shah Mosque, or Imam Mosque as its now known, in Esfahan.
A few of the scenes have changed a little, but mostly I was seeing exactly what my Mum saw 41 years ago.
1975 was pre-revolution, no hard-line religious government with strict moral code, no compulsory hijab, in fact some women wore short skirts, no sanctions, just to name a few. I’m not trying to say it was a perfect country before the revolution, the Shah’s regime was definitely problematic, I’m just trying to say it’s a very different place to the one my Mum saw.
Yet, it’s still very much the same in other ways, after all the people aren’t the government.
Not being able to share my trips with any more (she died a few years ago), taking her photos with me was a way to take her with me.