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Hoda Afshar

Winner, National Photographic Portrait Prize 2015

Hoda Afshar NPPP 2015 winner
Video: 2 minutes

An interview with the winner of the National Photographic Portrait Prize 2015, talking about portraiture and the intention of her series "The smell of Narenj".

Video credits: music by Trans Alp.

Hoda Afshar transcript

The portrait of Ali is a part of a series I made last year. The title is “The smell of Narenj”, and I was trying to capture the Iran that I know, the place that I once used to call home.

When it comes to portraits it’s all about little information, that an image it giving you. It’s about the lines on people’s faces. It’s about every detail in their clothing, or in their eyes. It’s the way that they’re looking into the camera, or not looking into the camera. Every single detail in their face is saying something about that individual that makes them different from the rest of the world.

My intention was to capture the stories of real people, not what is represented in the media and what everyone knows about Iran. Something that I know hasn’t been shown or captured before. I can never stop making work about it. I love to keep going back and making, adding more images to the series, and familiarise myself again with the place I was born.

As I said, for me it was mostly the way that I see Iran. Not that it is the reality of Iran, but it’s the Iran that I know and I love. Ali was a part of it and I’m really glad that I encountered him because it’s also one of my favourite images in the series.