During her time in Malaysia, roughly 3,500 miles away from her home in Iran, photographer Nafise Motlaq was troubled by the way people would talk about her country’s culture. Partially perpetuated by the media, she saw people making judgements without any first-hand knowledge of the country’s actual culture.
It was this frustration with misrepresentation that, once she was home, inspired Motlaq to pick up her camera and begin an intimate series of photographs exploring the father-daughter relationship in Iran.
As she explained in an interview with Slate:
There is a stereotype of Iranian men and women, which you see in a lot of mainstream media. This simple project is a reaction to that. It’s about real portraits of Iranians.
Motley notes that while in the realm of things, the relationships between daughters and fathers in Iran aren’t much different than other places. She wanted to use her photography to shed light on the diversity that lies within the intricate culture of Iran.
Specifically, she told Slate, it was the, “diversity of families, opinions, and classes of society” that she wanted to capture.
The fathers in the photographs vary in professions from farmers to engineers. And this class difference, when paired with quotes from the daughters themselves, helped to paint the picture Motlaq set out to create.
Her end goal was to show that, “Iranian men are not all the same. There are a lot of successful Iranian women in universities, business, art, science, and industry and we should understand most of them have very supporting fathers and male friends in their life.”
Image credits: Photographs by Nafise Motlaq and used with permission