Ali Mobasser

Stamps of a Revolution | 2017

My mother, father and I left Iran after The Revolution in 1979. I was three years old. A few years on whilst living in Costa Rica, my parents finally separated and my mother and I settled in The United States with my mother's family. The letters and packages, which began to arrive from Iran, became our connection to our loved ones but it was the stamps that accompanied them that grabbed me. I would immediately tear off the corners of the letters and parcels as soon as they came through the door and eventually after seeing my interest my grandmother would teach me to soak, peel, dry and flatten my stamps.

I was sent to London in 1985 to live with my father's family and continued collecting the stamps that were arriving from Iran until reaching my adolescence. At this point I placed my album of stamps on my father’s bookshelf where they would remain for the next twenty-five years. In time I would rediscover my stamp collection, seeing them not just as an account of the first ten years of The Islamic Republic but as a reminder of those volatile years in my childhood where the stamps served as my only constant. It was in this light that I photographed my collection and conceived Stamps of a Revolution.

In 2017 my stamps led me back to Iran after thirty-eight years away. I was invited to Iran to exhibit the series, bringing the stamps back to their place of issue.


Installation View

Interview with It's Nice That