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Loulou d’Aki Captures Life on Iranian Islands in the Persian Gulf

Posted by on April 30, 2018 | Photographer Interviews

Loulou d’Aki first traveled to Iran to take photographs of Iranian youth as part of a larger project she was working on across the Middle East. Frequently, the subjects she photographed told her that she should visit the islands of Hormuz, Qeshm and Kish.

“All of them seemed to agree that I really had to go down to the Persian Gulf and visit the islands Hormuz, Qeshm and Kish where life, according to them, seemed to be relatively free in comparison to Tehran and where many young people from the mainland would try to spend some time every ear,” she wrote in a statement.

On their advice, d’Aki booked a ticket. The resulting series, “Down by the water,” captures life on the three islands, and offers a more nuanced picture of contemporary Iranian culture than what is normally seen in Western media.

A selection of images from “Down by the Water” is below. All images © Loulou d’Aki.

For more of her work, visit her website or follow her on Instagram @dakiloulou.

Down by the water, a married couple help their daughter with homework before sunset.

View from the Portuguese castle on Hormuz island. Once upon a time, Hormuz city had an important harbor – until the Persian King, Shah Abbas, reconquered the island and decided to move the principal port to the mainland since he did not trust the islanders.

Teenage boys on motorbikes gather down by the water at the end of the day in Qeshm city

View on the shipyard in Qeshm from a wooden Lenj in construction.

Sahar with her walking stick, poses for a portrait in a salt cave on Qeshm island. The island has become a place where young people can experience more freedom away from the Islamic republic’s restrictions.

Mrs. Sharifi and her daughters wear traditional face masks typical for the Hormuz straight. Women began hiding their faces with masks when the island became a Portuguese colony. The masks would make them less attractive to foreign men.

The obligatory picture of the spiritual leader in a broken frame while the sleepy eyed receptionist calls me a taxi.

S. on the abandoned movie set and the last rays of sun.

View from a Lenj in construction as a storm approaches.

T., a Pakistani worker, climbs down from a Lenj in construction.

Down by the water, girls in chadors take pictures of each other at sunset on Kish island.

A Camel guide stands next to his animal, waits for tourists to come his way as the sun starts setting on Kish island.