“The Hazaras, a Persian-speaking Shi’a ethnic group, have settled predominantly in central Afghanistan. They have endured decades of injustice, discrimination, and harassment. As survivors of genocide by Abdolrahmankhan (1880-1901), they have faced targeted violence, partly due to their religious identity. Tragic events such as the Chandaval uprising, the Afshar massacre, the Mazar Sharif massacre, and ongoing harassment and forced displacement by the Taliban have further compounded their suffering. Unfortunately, they have never been fully accepted in their homeland and have often been looked down upon.
The Hazaras, unable to find acceptance in their own country, have sought refuge in neighboring Iran, a country with shared religious beliefs. However, contrary to their expectations, they faced unkindness and discrimination upon arrival. Their Asian features, such as their almond-shaped eyes, have made them stand out in Iranian society, preventing their integration. Consequently, they find themselves in a search for identity and belonging, longing for a place they can call home.
The work I am undertaking focuses on shedding light on the Asian hate experienced by the Hazaras in Tehran province. Through a combination of documentary and staged photography, individuals will be depicted based on their personal stories and imagined desires. This project aims to raise awareness about the struggles faced by the Hazaras, who find themselves as strangers in their own country and foreigners in Iran(Tehran). They are people without a homeland, desperately seeking a sense of belonging and identity.