A photographic book and a permanent observatory on today’s Iran, made by Iranian photographers. Using their smartphones, they tell the story of the daily life of a country caught between modernity and tradition; the richness of a collective memory in continuous growing Iran, which is one of those countries that we know very little about. It possesses incredible photographic talent that has found a way of expressing itself with smartphones and shares its vision with hundreds of thousands of people on Instagram. The audience is mostly young adults, college students, some of them are photographers or want to be, and others are involved in social issues. A lot of these people have organized themselves in photographic groups, worked on projects for Instagram that have later being exhibited on photographic gallery. We aim to show the face of a different Iran. Not the one shown by outside media experts, giving their own iconographic interpretation of the country. Not the one shown by a single photographer hand-picked by media as the professional “witness” to tell a story that does not belong to him, published in a magazine and cleverly packaged to meet its editorial policy. We aim to show Iran in the same way as seen by Iranians, through their photographic talent.
Inviting the large number of Iranian followers of our Instagram page, we launched the hashtag, #1415IRAN, for six months, and collected over 16,000 images from more than 300 Instagramers. This reflected an incredible visual richness and provided eyewitness accounts of life, tastes, habits, entertainment, traditions, healthcare, women, family life, modernity, country life, religion, and street life from the people of Iran.
Even after the deadline closed in August 2016, new images are still coming in every day. This is a sign of the productivity of Iranian mobile photographers and their desire to establish real, as well as virtual relationships with the outside world. They seek professional opportunities, as a way of belonging to a wider world.
The publication of a book involves a drastic selection of images, reducing the number of 16,000 to 80-100 photographs. A mass of precious material will be lost in the Instagram sea. Somehow this is a waste, dissipating richness and a knowledge available for everyone. For this reason, we want to open a permanent observatory, a website as an open window on the imagery produced daily in Iran. It will be the second step. At the moment we are concentrating only on the book, as it can be the first place to preserve part of this collection of images. It can also contribute to a better understanding of Iran and in doing so, eliminate a series of clichés.
To support the printing costs, we have recently launched a crowdfunding on Kisskissbankbank platform, to let people be more involved in project, as they can share the contents of #1415IRAN project and support the printing, buying one or more copy of the book in pre-sale.
14&15 Mobile Photographers is a web platform dedicated to the discovery and the promotion of photographic talents, through a series of activities such as book publishing, collective projects, exhibitions, prints sales and more; we focus on photographers using the new tool for producing their stories-features-pictures: the smartphone. The platform has been founded in 2015 by photographers Giorgio Cosulich de Pecine and Giulio Napolitano, with over twenty years of experience in international photo-journalism, working for clients such as United Nations, Getty Images, Agence France Presse, Nike, Qantas, Newsweek, Time, Stern, NY Times, Vanity Fair and many more.