ShahreFarang is a bilingual website in Persian and English whose focus is on collecting, documenting, and presenting visual material from Iranian daily life and culture. While ShahreFarang does share and comment upon official Iranian high art, the majority of its posts are about subjects of daily life (like the design and packages of Iranian cigarettes) and documentation of mundane everyday practices (such as ways of using motorcycles). Every post on ShahreFarang has a main subject described in a few sentences. The rest of the post consists of several pictures (mostly between 5 to 25) that give the viewer a visual sense of the subject.
One of the goals of Shahrefarang is to provide non-Iranians with a source of visual information about Iranian daily life and culture especially during the last 150 years. But the main goal of ShahreFarang is to inform its Iranian visitors about the hidden or ignored parts of their culture, and to make the visitors sensitive to the changes and transformations in Iranian culture and life. ShahreFarang tries to make the visitors recognize the importance of documenting and preserving these changes and encourages them to submit their material to the site for public presentation. Pictures of birthday parties, weddings, travels, and picnics in people’s personal albums, objects such as an old box of tea, or a collection of old post cards or match boxes can all be visual material to show the transformation of Iranian culture during the last two centuries.
* “ShahreFarang” is the Iranian version of peep boxes, a form of entertainment provided by wandering showmen. Shahre Farang were made of metal in the shape of an oriental castle with several holes.
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“ShahreFarang.com” is the brain child of two Iranian designers & culture vultures, Mehrdad Aref-Adib and Sourena Parham.
✤ Also available in: Persian