Fading Portraits provides a rare insight into a society where the government plays a pivotal role in artists' lives, controlling the fate of their work, and subsequently their role within a society. The predicament that all artists in such societies face is that when the artist's voice is not heard, it as if the artist does not even exist. Iran is one such society, and Maryam Zandi is one such artist. A renowned documentarian and photographer, Zandi is attempting to publish her photos of the 1979 Revolution and is faced with a dilemma: To give in to the Ministry of Culture & Islamic Guidance's demand to omit several photos, or to maintain her determination that historical events can not be censored. Fading Portraits documents her struggle, strength, and persistence in having her voice - and the voice of all artists in similar societies - heard.
Maryam Zandi: Photographer
Maryam Zandi is a renowned Iranian photographer, based in Tehran. During her acclaimed career, Maryam has published more than ten books of her photographic works, most notably the ongoing Portraits series. After the 1979 Revolution, she began capturing portraits of Artists that were being blacklisted by the government to preserve the memory of Iranian artists for future generations. To date, Maryam has published five volumes of Portraits, creating in the process an extensive photographic archive of many of Iran's most famous and influential contemporary elites in the fields of literature, visual arts, cinema, theater, and music.
In 2010 she was awarded the “First Degree Medal of Art” from President Ahmadinejad; however, she refused to accept the medal in protest at the lack of freedom and professional dignity experienced by photographers in Iran at the time.
Maryam Zandi continues to be recognized as one of the most influential photographers in Iran and for her persistent effort to champion the rights of Photographers.