My personal photographic journey links my identity to the impacts that the Iranian Revolution and protests, both present and past, have had on my family and the Iranian diaspora. My grandfather himself was imprisoned in the 1960s for his role in protesting against a CIA-backed coup, which deposed the elected prime minister and brought the Shah of Iran back to power. He was lucky to survive; thousands of students who were arrested simply disappeared, including his best friend. Families were torn between possibly losing a family member or leaving home. My grandfather and father chose the latter, thereby joining the Iranian diaspora.
Today in Iran, it is estimated that more than 18,000 people have been arrested for protesting against the abuses of the current regime, particularly as it pertains to the rights of women. More than 500 protestors have been killed. Through making pictures, attending present day protests, and connecting with those in the diaspora supporting the current revolution, I am reconnecting to my Iranian heritage, realizing the loss of my connection to these roots because of the revolution 44 years ago, and supporting the revolution today through my photography and reflections on this personal journey.
Max Haeri is a 16-year-old photographer based in Brooklyn who works in a number of genres including photojournalism and documentary, street, and conceptual photography, to tell the stories of global issues. He has documented themes such as women's rights, veganism, and environmentalism. Max dreams of working in international relations while documenting his experiences working in the field. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Max began taking photos of nature on his dad’s phone to better understand his tumultuous reality, falling in love with the art form.