2014 — student winner
Iran is currently one of the youngest countries in the world. Since the Islamic Revolution of 1979, Iran's population has grown to 76 million people, out of which 70% are the youth under 35. However, in spite of its 7000 year-old history and its rich culture and civilization, the youth are still deprived of basic human rights.
Iran is a theocracy based on Islamic and traditional beliefs, and thus tries to bring up Muslim and traditional youth through publicity and education system. Teaching the sacred and religious instructions begins at the earlier ages in kindergartens and continues till the older ages. However many young Iranian people who are not different from the western youth, do not bear the traditional thoughts.
Except for some percent of the youth who adhere to tradition, the rest are living a trendy and up-to-date life. They would like to have a sweetheart and have free relationship together, be able to go to parties and drink alcoholic beverages without any restriction and fear and enjoy their pastime. The want to live the way they prefer.
Being deprived of basic human rights and social freedom, the youth are mostly desperate. According to the Iranian Psychiatric Association Secretary, between 15 to 20 percent of the Iranian youth suffer from depression. Many of them dream of immigration and living in a free country abroad.
Western people have a negative reputation of Iran in their mind and they believe Iranians are fanatic people with traditional beliefs. The present work aims to depict a portrait of the daily lives of Iranian youth who dream of living "a free life". I am trying to introduce the Iranian youth to the world and narrate their stories and problems through this story.
As a young boy, I feel an emotional connection to this story. Illustrating these issues, is a reproduction of my own problems in Iran and it is a tale of my own hunger for a free life. Iran is a cheap country and thus the grant will be enough for continuing the project. I hope to move the project forward and present the true image of Iranian youth to the world from behind the closed doors and tell the story of their deprivation. I do believe that this dream will come true with the support of great Alexia Foundation.