Fractured Lives looks at the images from the Facebook pages of eight young Iranians who grew up in Tehran but have now chosen to start a new life in London. It shows the insider’s perspective of individuals who undeniably define themselves as Iranians, who try to reconcile the memories of their country with the attraction they feel from a new world to which they are drawn. It is a tale of ethnicity and separation that blends romance and nostalgia about a place that they are trying to leave behind and about dreams and romance of another place which they hope will become their new world.
It juxtaposes images from the lives of these eight protagonists back in Tehran with images of their lives in London. The images allow the viewer to vicariously experience the difference between these two existences.
Each page tells the story of one person. Their life in Tehran is on the recto, with images of life in London on the verso of a leaf, with their “passport” photograph split between the two sides, symbolizing lives that have fractured between East and West.
In another time these images would have been scattered around in private photo albums. It almost seems that through Facebook these protagonists are comfortable with sharing these once private stories. The result is a document that highlights the duality of living separate lives, both of which are very real.
On this website you can view a few pages of the book.
Omid Salehi - 2013
4 - 10
In this booklet I’m going to share the conversations I had with my landlord over 5 months. Dealing with him showed me the real life in the UK. Not the one that you read in books or see in movies. An unofficial but true experience.
This video shows my passport picture. And it depicts how irritated i get when I am at a passport control and get bombarded and interrogated with thousands of un-related questions.
This work compares a child's exciting attempts to acquire fundamental skills to my own struggles with learning basic necessities to cope with the new world.
Here, the cliché of James Bond, shot in London, resonates with the question about migrants’ labour and their everyday life.
In this video I wanted to show the complicated network of power relationships that an ordinary migrant falls into when s/he comes to the west.
Sound & Photography
A close look at Soho brothels: "Their rooms were colourful and intimate — yet still the scenes of rough, cold sadness."
A blend of my life in Iran and Britain depicted in a virtual trip by Google Maps.
"Being a child on the front line, surrounded by a heavy military presence, was surreal. Like many teenage recruits there, I didn’t fear the war..."
A group video installation about censorship: this project was inspired by a small collection of unfinished Michelangelo paintings, on display at the National Gallery.
A self-narrative about the quest to find a new home.
Facebook stories of the Iranian diaspora.
While many people immigrate their roots remain untouched. This project is about people who have a fractured live torn from their loved ones.
A journey into the last days of a most courageous girl, who fought her brain tumour, right to the end.
Walking along any street, there’s a chance of an eye watching you from behind a two-way mirror, or a doorbell camera. All of a sudden your privacy is gone.
The lives of truck drivers are hard: they long for homeliness — which they try to create through images of celebrities, and verses from the Quran, etc.
Many people pose in front of these, clearly unrealistic collages of the Imam Reza Shrine, as a souvenir of their pilgrimage.
A journey to south of Iran where sugar cane workers burn the canes before harvesting them. They cut the cane with a sharp sickle and frequently injure themselves.
A dancer who was prisoned for two years after the Islamic Revolution founded a private dance after she was freed.
An after effect of Iran-Iraq war the was portrayed in the life of a soldier who spent his last 18 years of life in a coma.
A glimpse of a cleric's daily life in Iran who was the religious teacher of young "Talebs" (students).
"Champion mother" was tattooed on Bahram's arm. A street boy who was forced to go to the streets and perform acrobatic techniques to provide for the family.
She takes the boat all the way into the heart of the sea, sits quietly in her boat, she pulls up her net and takes her daily ration.
These homeless children in Shush Square, one of the most deprived regions in Tehran, snatched watermelons from moving vans.
Vaccination was my first series from 1990, when I was still 17. Its concept and mission were to showcase children’s pain, via their mothers’ faces.
Iranian men must spend two years to fulfill the compulsory military service and they have stories to tell for the rest of their lives.
The life of mentally ill in Salami Village in Shiraz. Some patients died because of infections caused by eating their own faeces.
All images Copyright © Omid Salehi