Iran: The power of reading
In the village of Kelab in the mountainous southwest of Iran lives a girl who wants to change the world with books. As the eldest of six brothers and sisters, Tayyiba Atun gathers the other children in the village around her for a few hours every day, if possible, to read to them. She wants the children’s thoughts to fly beyond the boundaries of their village. Fantasy should prevail over the narrow horizons of their situation. They should talk to each other, make plans together, get an idea of the wide world beyond the mountains and understand life better by listening to all kinds of different stories.
Iranian photographer Atefeh Alsadat Safavi Vanani joined Kelab’s young reading activist and her audience for a while. She was present at Tayyiba’s gatherings under trees and among herds of goats – with only a few children or with large groups of them. Vanani affectionately describes the girl as a ‘seeker’. It is the story of a private call to action, the results of which will become apparent in a few years’ time. And when that time comes, the results will be clearly visible.
Photographer: Atefeh Alsadat Safavi Vanani, Iran (SOO Photo Agency)
Atefeh Alsadat Safavi Vanani, born in 1992, got her Master’s degree in Business Administration in the Faculty of Economics at the University of Tehran. Since then, she has worked as a photographer and filmmaker. She has participated in many Iranian photo and film festivals with her projects and also teaches photography at schools and other institutions in her home country.