Photos

Afro-Iran: Photographing Iran's Forgotten African Diaspora

Mahdi Ehsaei photographs Iranian communities of African descent in his new photo essay, 'Afro-Iran: The Unknown Minority.'

All images courtesy of Mahdi Ehsaei


Afro-Iran: The Unknown Minority is a new photo essay by photographer Mahdi Ehsaei that documents Iranian communities of African descent along the Persian Gulf. Images from the series were taken in the Iranian port city of Bandar Abbas, a major slave post where thousands of enslaved Africans were sold to wealthy Persian families as servants, wet nurses and concubines. After slavery was officially abolished in Iran in 1928, the southern province became home to the descendants of these enslaved Africans as well as African sailors who settled in the region to find work.

Born in Germany to Iranian parents, Ehsaei told Thought Catalog in a recent interview that the "complexities of his dual heritage" formed the foundation for his growing interest in lesser-known facets of Iranian culture. With this project, Ehsaei hopes to bring Afro-Iranian communities that have existed on the fringes of mainstream Iranian society to the fore. In order to achieve this, Ehsaei has launched a Kickstarter campaign to produce a photo book that compiles portraits and essays from his travels. In an accompanying statement, he says:

"Afro-Iran shows a side of Iran, which is widely unknown even to Iranians: a minority of people who influenced the culture of a whole region by continuing their African heritage with their clothing style, their music, their dance and their oral traditions and rituals. The traditional and historical region with one of Iran’s most ethnically diverse populations is framed with unique landscapes. The photo book shows fascinating portraits which are not typical for the common picture of Iran. Afro-Iran reveals details documenting a centuries-long history of a community, which is often overlooked in Iran’s history, but which has even shaped the culture in Southern Iran."

Mahdi Ehsaei's Afro-Iran: The Unknown Minority is currently available for pre-order. Head here for more images from the series.

 

Style
Photo by Kwesi Yanful, courtesy of MIZIZI.

MIZIZI Has Released a Special Edition 'Lion King' Jersey in Collaboration with Disney

The sleek baseball jersey was designed to celebrate the 25th anniversary of "The Lion King."

MIZIZI returns with yet another timely collaboration—this time with Disney to commemorate the 25th anniversary of our childhood classic, The Lion King.

The African streetwear brand says through the jersey's kid sizes, it now has the opportunity to cater to the next generation of viewers of the upcoming live-action remake that's to open in theaters this week. "The Lion King marked many of our childhoods," the brand says in a statement. "Much before we were aware of our identities, it resonated with us."

Keep reading... Show less
popular

Watch the Intense Trailer for 'Don't Let Go,' Starring David Oyelowo

Oyelowo and Storm Reid shine in the new trailer for the upcoming psychological thriller.

David Oyelowo and A Wrinkle In Time star, Storm Reid are on a psychological journey to escape death in the new trailer for their film Don't Let Go.

Both actors give heavy performances, as the film sees Oyelowo taking on the role of a police officer, Jack Radcliff, who has a chance to change the chain of events that led to the murder of his niece Ashley (Storm Reid), and hopefully save her.

The film was written and directed by Jacob Aaron Estes, with the producers of Get Out. Oyelowo himself is also a producer on the film.

Read: In Conversation: Abiola Oke With David Oyelowo

Don't Let Go also stars Brian Tyree Henry, Alfred Molina and Mykelti Williamson, Shinelle Azoroh, Byron Mann, and April Grace. The film, which originally premiered at Sundance under the title Relive, is due out in theaters on August 30.

Back in March, it was announced that Oyelowo is also working on his very own directorial debut The Water Man, which will be executive produced by Oprah Winfrey.

Watch the trailer for Don't Let Go below.

Don't Let Go - Official Trailer (2019) www.youtube.com

News Brief
Still taken from music video.

Watch the Music Video for Patoranking's 'Wilmer'

The artist's beautiful visual ode to his daughter will tug at your heartstrings.

Earlier this year, Nigerian artist Patoranking dropped his 12-track sophomore album, Wilmer, which he dedicated to his daughter. The same-titled track, which features French-born Georgian singer and songwriter Bera, sees Patoranking professing his immense love for his daughter.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

news.

popular.