Stamps of a Revolution | 1979 - 1989

- Photographed in 2015

In 1979 my family left Iran during The Islamic Revolution. I was two years old when this happened.

Five years on, aged seven and living with my mother in America, I instinctively began to cut out the stamps from the letters and packages that arrived from Iran. I was inspired by my grandmother who would sit next to me cutting and collecting her supermarket coupons. Eventually she would teach me how to soak, peel and finally dry and flatten the stamps.

My impression of the then current Iran was built on the stories of visiting relatives from Iran telling us of the horrors of day to day life with the fear of overhead bombings during the eight year war with Iraq. News footage showing Iranian mobs surrounding and burning the US flag became an image etched into my thoughts when thinking of my country. These beautiful little gifts from my country became my direct connection for a country I longed to know for myself, despite everything I was told.

By 1989, now aged twelve and living with my father in the London, my interest in stamps had dwindled. I had begun secondary school and collecting stamps was not going to make me cool. I put my album of stamps away on my father’s bookshelf, where it would collect dust for many years, awaiting their rediscovery.