How could the sound of a 35mm camera shutter attract the attention of a protestor in a crowd? It’s as if the photographer used a megaphone to say, “One, Two, Three, Cheese…” and some participants gazed out of the atmosphere to stare at the camera.

This project highlights the revolutionaries of Iran in 1979, who looked out from among the masses at a crucial moment in history and stared into the lens of a camera. The anticipated relationship has been reversed in these photographs, as if the subject and object had exchanged places. This reversal of roles had a significant impact, as the people themselves took on the task of capturing the image with their gaze rather than the camera turning towards them.

Photographing through a loupe provided an allegory for extracting photographs of the revolution and bringing them to the present moment. It seems that their gaze has been waiting for my eyes for decades, filtering through a multitude of lenses and eyes before reaching me. They wanted to be recorded in history by a camera, and I tried to honor their desire for immortality.

Bio: Amin Yousefi (b.1996, Iran) holds an MA in Photography from the University of Westminster. He lives and works as a writer, researcher, and image-based artist in London. He has participated in several exhibitions and prizes, including recently being named a 2024 Foam Talent Award winner.
A native of Abadan in the province of Khuzestan, Iran’s most oil-rich region and the scene of bloody war with neighboring Iraq, Yousefi’s work examines the event of photography through the socio-political aspect of the medium. His primary concern lies in the implications of the archive, exploring state violence against protests in the Middle East and how the act of photography can conceptually mirror the structures of these relationships.