Sana Ahmadizadeh

2017 - Ongoing

Gīlān, Iran; Ahvaz, Khuzestan, Iran

I live in Ahvaz. The most polluted city in the world and an oil-rich and industrial city in Khuzestan Province, which supplies about 87% of Iran’s oil demand. Ahvaz is at the peak of its environmental crisis due to drought in the wetlands, Karun river water transmission, and dust storms; the city which respiratory patients’ data are still classified. Dust storms have increased respiratory diseases mortality and immigration from Ahvaz since 2002. In addition to the internal sources of dust, Iraq and Saudi Arabia are also two main sources of particulates. This environmental crisis has become more complicated war and continuous drought in Iraq, economic pressures brought about by re-enforced nuclear sanctions on Iran by the United States, increased diplomatic tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia, and the lack of cooperation of the Arab countries in the region. I left Ahvaz in 2017 on the advice of doctors due to my respiratory illness. These images reflect the days when breathing have become a bitter and painful experience for me. I went to northern Iran where my mother took refuge 36 years ago after the Iran-Iraq war break out and bombardment of her city; a war which effects are still visible in my mother’s life. the sense of suspension in my personal life, and the inevitable similarities of my life and my mother’s life created a new world for me, in which an unceasing flow of associations was formed. “A Place to Live” is a personal journey about my emotions and relationships with the environment where I stayed until partial improvement of my health, an environment that reminds me two generations of displaced people. For me, two parallel worlds formed. Two narratives with their own fears and sorrows. This is a long term series and I intend to picture my personal experiences affected by this environmental crisis, whose impacts could go beyond the geographical boundaries of Iran.

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  • “My mother's tears” After hearing about her friends and relative’s death, my mother came to the Caspian Sea coast and cried. (Gilan Province, North of Iran, 2018)

  • “Out of breath” Today all arrival and departure flights were cancelled, all schools and offices were closed down and having difficulty breathing (Ahvaz, Iran, 2018).

  • “Martyr”. Portrait of a martyr from the Iran-Iraq war that has been installed next to a road, in this war more than three hundred thousand Khuzestan families were forced to migrate to other cities. (Gilan Province, North of Iran, 2018)

  • (Galan Province, North of Iran, 2018)

  • " Faded into the fog” The foggy and misty atmosphere after the rain reminds me dust storm. (Gilan Province, North of Iran, 2018)

  • “ out of range” Dust particles in the air over southwestern city of Ahvaz reached 8,300 micrograms per cubic meter on Tuesday, which is 57 times more than the healthy limit (150µg/m³)serious diseases such as lung cancer, asthma and heart problems. I was not able to continue photography. (Ahvaz, Iran, 2018)

  • (Galan Province, North of Iran, 2018)

  • (Galan Province, North of Iran, 2018)

  • (Ahvaz, Iran, 2017).

  • “Mother” portrait of my mother in 1980. After hearing about her brother's death, she went back to her hometown and never left. (Ahvaz, Iran, 2017)

  • (Galan Province, North of Iran, 2018)

  • “The latent Death” during a dust storm rain has turned the dust there into mud, which caused power stations to stop working. (Ahvaz, Iran, 2017)

  • (Galan Province, North of Iran, 2018)

  • (Galan Province, North of Iran, 2018)

  • " Iranian carpet", A piece of Iranian carpet has disappeared in the fog after rain. (Gilan Province, North of Iran, 2018)

  • “Suspended roots” (Gilan Province, North of Iran, 2018).