EMILY GARTHWAITE, UNITED KINGDOM

IRAN: CHILDREN OF THE ZAGROS

A childhood like something out of an adventure story: being part of a nomadic family in the Zagros Mountains in western Iran. For thousands of years, people here have followed a tradition of leading their herds of goats and sheep through deep gorges and jagged peaks to grasslands and summer pastures. The Farsi name for this journey is ‘Kooch’. 

For two weeks, British photographer Emily Garthwaite accompanied the Mokhtari family, the parents Hossein and Jahan, three of their nine children and several cousins and other relatives, on their 250-kilometer journey. They would travel with around five horses, ten donkeys and mules, and hundreds of goats and sheep. 

For the children it is one great adventure, riding on the backs of mules, washing in cold rivers, sitting around the campfire at night. But at the same time, it is a hard and strenuous training that aims to enable boys and girls to continue in the paths of their parents.

Photographer: Emily Garthwaite, United Kingdom

Portrait: Emily Garthwaite

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Emily Garthwaite, born in 1994, has a Masters in Documentary Photography and Photojournalism from the University of Westminster and lives in Iraq. Emily’s work weaves together themes of shared humanity, displacement and coexistence with the natural world. 

She has won several awards such as Forbes 30 Under 30 and has been named a Leica Ambassador. Her photos have been shown at exhibitions in the USA, the United Arab Emirates and several European countries.

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