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Iran’s resilience journey

Gaël Turine

It is in a country, more divided than ever between pro and anti religious, that I made this road trip from the
mountains of Kurdistan to the island of Kish in the Persian Gulf. For three weeks, I travelled through this
immense country with its breathtaking scenery and generous hospitality. I wanted to move southwards
while approaching Iranian society in a transversal way with one word as a common thread: resilience.
Because in Iran, there is always a “behind the scenes”, just like the way Iranians play with the dialectics of
the Persian language to express themselves on the most sensitive subjects, while making sure not to be
accused of defamation.
This capacity for resilience, to adapt to situations and to cross them with conviction and hope characterizes
the Iranian State and population. There is a climate of hostility towards the country, both internally and
externally, but the political-religious power has resisted for forty years, and there is no sign of change
unless a war provoked by the United States breaks out. Unthinkable scenario but which is a hypothesis for
the tenant of the White House. D. Trump’s strangulation policy is suffocating the Iranian economy, with
serious consequences for the daily lives of the population. On the other hand, climate change is hitting this
region of the world hard with years of accumulated drought, accelerating the rural exodus, which itself
aggravates the water problem….
For their part, the Iranians are suffering from the constraints and repression of a regime hostile to change.
Yet they resist and express their anger at living in a country where prohibitions transform public space into
an area where everyone plays a role. The private space then becomes the one where Iranians find
themselves with exuberance and freedom.
The complexity of Iranian society is not documented in a few weeks of course, but the sum of the moments
experienced and scenes photographed speak of today’s Iran and demonstrate the vitality with which the
population fights its despair.

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