Girls having lunch on the topfloor of Azadi cinema in Abbas Abad, north of Teheran

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  • IRAN BEYOND IRAN


REPORTAGE: December 2012 onward


In Iran people and government are two diametrically different worlds: this is significantly evident for the privileged youth, studying and populating the main cities of the country. On one side, they are immersed in the rich traditional culture of the Persian heritage, which is imbued with Islamism. On the other side, they are always more influenced by the influx of global culture, which is moulding people lifestyles and visions of reality.


Despite the government censorship on blogs, international news sources, and social networks - exacerbated after the ‘green movement’ which shook the country in 2009 - the impact of the medias have accelerated an unprecedented process of transformation amongst Iran’s youth. Cable TV, Internet and social networks, accessed by proxy programs, have become enlightening channels of information and methods of congregation for the youth.



Where the Orwellian gaze of the system can’t reach, an alternative and parallel reality unfolds, a world a side, with other values and other dominant rules. In private the real culture of the metropolitan contemporary Iran develops, open to western and oriental influences, open to change and hungry for diversity. Young people gather together in parks and at private parties, which attract many people as they seek of fun.  


But what is becoming increasingly appealing for the youngster of Iran is the spirit of free traveling, which has already become a lifestyle for many. Hitchhiking without money nor destination, sleeping in tents, or in unknown people houses, climbing mountains and chilling at the beach, improvising parties in every situation and especially sharing their photos and discoveries in social networks like Instagram, Telegram and Couch Surfing, which are all extremely popular amongst Iranians.








At the seaside in Queshm island, a couple is walking to the sea hands by hands. Women are obliged in Iran to wear long sleeves and headscarf even at the beach, despite many of them are not willing to do so and when in private, avoid to follow the rules. 

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People enjoying their time next to a huge bike placed in a park in the outskit of Kerman

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Young couple kissing during a photo-shooting at the beach of Busher, on the day of their marriage. They meet through the social network Couch Surfing while they were traveling in Iran.

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A girl is resting over a carpet in the village of Ghalat, near Shiraz, famous for its culture of freedom and the weed plantations.

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A scene from a liberal Iranian wedding in the outskirts of Busher, where the dress-code strays from what is legally enforced.

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A scene from a liberal Iranian wedding in the outskirts of Busher, where the dress-code strays from what is legally enforced.
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Man writes his wishes for the new year to come (Now Ruz) at a non-religious clandestine meditation-celebration in Teheran. He is writing to a lady, hoping to improve his relation with her and to solve a problem they have.

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Women sitting all together in circles during the meditation for the new year, aimed at turning their dreams into reality, at a private center in Teheran.

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Young women bursting into tears during the moving meditation approaching Now Ruz in Teheran.

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Feyrouzeh is hitchhiking in the back of a pick-up on a journey to Busher together with a bunch of friends.

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Yoga class for only man in south of Teheran.

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Tehrani boy with a sticking plaster on his nose, a few days after having done plastic surgery, which is very popular in Iran and for some became a kind of status symbol

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A girl is talking at the public telephone in Teheran, on the background a graffiti denouncing US and Israel's imperialism.

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Friends waiting to hitchhike on a car, on the way to Busher.

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A group of friends partying on the apartment of one of them. Home parties are one on the only occasions for young people to behave according to their rules, and not with the one of the system.

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Teheran at night, seen from the North of the city

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One young woman wearing hijab and staring at some sexy clothes in front of a lingerie shop in Tehran

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A girl making up during a private party in Shiraz.

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Friends smoking in the car in the city of Ahwaz. For Iranians, the car is a space of freedom.

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Ako dancing in a small bar in Ghalat, near Shiraz

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A girl drinking in a small bar in Ghalat, near Shiraz

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People dancing at a private party in Isfahan


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Friends playing together one night while traveling together in Ghalat


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One girl is browsing the internet. Despite Facebook and Twitter have been censored by the government after the post-election turmoil in 2009, the biggest protest in the history of the Islamic Republic, people are still accessing these social networks through proxy programs.

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Tehran’s underground. A couple stay nearby, notwithstanding the law that wants them to divide.

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A group of young musicians playing together while traveling by train to an island in the South in seek of a few days of freedom far away from the pressure of Teheran

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Girl rolling a joint over a banknote with the face of the ayatollah Khomeini

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Friends sleeping together on a house where they were hosted while traveling.

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Friends standing by the fire on a journey on an island on the South of Iran

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Young guys from Teheran taking mescaline in the desert, to escape from the pressures of the city 

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Ako posting on Instagram the story of his travels. Over 40k people follows his travel posts.

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oung girl preparing for the English IELTS exam with the intention of moving to study abroad

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