Each photo can have a special story of its own; talking of hardships, of smiles, of families, of daily life, and so much more. “Refugee Eyes” helps better understand the story of those who were forced to leave their country and leave behind their belongings and at times close family members and friends their loved ones. Those who long for home, yet their “eyes” look towards our kindness, brotherhood , sisterhood and support while they have to remain far from home until their wish to go back one day comes through.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Bureau for Aliens and Foreign Immigrants’ Affairs (BAFIA) of the Iranian Ministry of Interior had the interesting idea of visualizing “Refugee life seen deep in the eyes of the refugees” (by non-refugees) and “Life seen by the refugee eyes” by the refugees themselves.
This is how the contest and exhibition of “Refugee Eyes” came to life, asking us all to take part and it resulted in a high turnout of registered photos.
The 40 best amongst them are put on exhibition, and the inauguration ceremony took place in the evening of 5 March 2014 at Saazeh Raas Gallery of Tehran’s monumental Milad high Tower attended by a very high number of participants including Ambassadors, Embassy diplomats, Government authorities, UN agencies, NGOs, and artists.
“I am glad to see that refugees are being seen from a new and different angle and that is art and I thank the artist for this.” said Dr. Kazemi, Director General of BAFIA at the inauguration ceremony.
In the artistic-cultural ambiance accompanied by live Afghan music, 1st, 2nd and 3rd place prize-winners, selected previously with the votes of professional jury members, were awarded.
Congratulating the artists, Mr. Doyle, UNHCR Representative in Iran said:” As we can see from the photographs taken by both Iranian and Afghan artists, visual arts is another common point between these two cultures.”
The exhibition continues in Zirgozar Gallery of Tehran Milad Tower from 6-15 March 2014, 9am-9pm accessible to public to which you are all warmly invited.
Special thanks goes to H.E. Dian Wirengjurit, Ambassador of Indonesia to the Islamic Republic of Iran, a professional photographer by hobby and to Mr. Hooman Nobakht, an Iranian artist photographer who kindly gave us their time to be part of the selection jury.
The first prize went to Mr. Abbas Haji Mohammadi, Ms. Bahareh Mohammadian and Mr. Haadi Mohseni both held second places and Ms. Khadijeh Navidi was awarded third place in the contest.