Farhad Berahman is an Iranian photographer who specialises in social documentary and the Middle East. In 2007 he started working with the Associated Press in the UAE and Middle East and in 2009 was nominated for a World Press Photo award, for the best young talented photographer in the MENA region.
In 2013 Farhad was awarded a scholarship for an MA in photojournalism and documentary photography at the University of the Arts London. In 2015 Tate Britain displayed his photographic series ‘Uncertain’, which explored the predicaments of displacement, identity and place felt by Iranian exiles. Recognition of his work has led to him being the recipient of an Arts Council of England Grant for Arts award.
In recent years he has moved away from social documentary and employs his photography to more conceptual and sculptural work. In attempting to explore the sense of nostalgia and memories of home felt by refugees, Farhad’s Shahre Farang project engaged with public participants and explored themes of being away from home and what they miss.
Originally commissioned by b-side Festival, Afghan Camera Box is the project Farhad developed to investigate the process of taking a photographic portrait and setting up an accompanying workshop in order to create a space for conversation. In his research, Farhad looked at the way veteran street photographers in Afghanistan and Iran used ‘kamra-a-faoree’ as a traditional method to capture memories and connect with people. The hand-made wooden camera acts as both the camera and darkroom, thus working as a ‘2 in 1’ machine. This enables capturing and instant printing of photographs, an individual copy handed to visitors upon processing of the image.
Afghan Camera Box was presented at a number of Festivals and public events, including as part of b-side Festival, Who Are We? Project at Tate Exchange, Lord Mayor’s Eid and Refugee Week celebrations in Trafalgar Square, Platforma 5 Festival at Turner Contemporary and others.
The production process underpinning ‘Afghan Camera Box (kamra-e-faoree)’ is captured in Marcia Chandra’s short film, Conversation: Afghan Camera Box especially commissioned by Counterpoints Arts for Who Are We? project.
His more recent project, Stamps to Elsewhere, commissioned by Journeys Festival, explores themes of refugee displacement and resettlement by creating large scale postage stamps for a fictional country, symbolising a home for migrants.