Penumbra Foundation / Image Threads LTP: Atefe Moeini and Shahrzad Darafsheh in Conversation
This week, Lenscratch is featuring student, faculty, and alumni voices from the Penumbra Foundation / Image Threads The Photobook: Long Term Program (LTP).
Most LTP students first meet their peers on Zoom. Over the years of the program, students’ locales have spanned from the West Coast of the United States to New Zealand and from the UK to Brazil. Creating connections online is challenging, but growing together as artists and sharing a fascination with the book form forges enduring relationships that arise not only within cohorts, but also across the alumni network.
Atefe Moeini (class of 2021) and Shahrzad Darafsheh (class of 2022), both based in Iran, knew of each other through Instagram but developed a closer friendship after taking part in the LTP. Today they debut an image conversation and reflect on the personal significance of the language of photography.
“This is Shahrzad Darafsheh, a photographer and visual practitioner residing in Tehran, Iran. I am here to present you with the dialogue I engaged in with my fellow photographer, Atefe Moeini.
As we exchange photographs, our connection deepens, enabling us to share our sentiments in this peculiar time and place we currently inhabit. To progress, we must also confront our vulnerabilities. We merge our past experiences with the present moment, allowing our hearts to speak through images, guiding us towards an unpredictable future. Every photograph we exchange becomes a verse within a symphony, creating a new bond between us.
Through this process, I have delved into a greater understanding of photography and have come to appreciate the differences between Atefe and myself. This is what I cherish about photography; its capacity to be a tool for self-discovery, as well as communication.”
“This is Atefe Moeini, an artist currently based in Bushehr, Iran.
For me, it was challenging, joyful and a new experience to have this visual conversation with Shahrzad. I am grateful about the freedom that images gave me when we had our conversation.
I mean, as a person who works with photography, it has always been so hard for me to communicate through words, and spending around a month and a half talking to Shahrzad just with images was liberating.
At the same time it made me think of the limitations and the possibilities of photography as a language, which still needs to be discovered.”
Atefe Moeini (b.1998) is an artist working primarily with the photographic image based in Iran. Her work explores themes of identity, gender, politics and violence. Moeini has completed a long-term photobook program with the Penumbra Foundation and Image Threads. In 2021, she was a recipient of the Prince Claus Seed award and a grant recipient of the Tbilisi Photo Festival program “Isolated communities: New Narratives, New Ways of Being and Living”. Her work has been published in the British Journal of Photography and the New York Times.
Follow Atefe on Instagram: @atefemoein
Shahrzad Darafsheh (b.Tehran, Iran, 1982) is a visual artist whose practice is concerned with environmental and psychological entanglements and she is widely engaged with ambiguity of human knowledge about its footprint on surroundings. She received her BA (2007) in Photography from Azad University of Tehran, and her Diploma (2011) of Film editing from Tehran Institute of Technology (MFT). Darafsheh’s photographs have been published in Saffron Tales by Yasmin Khan, UK (2016). Her video work has also been published in Analyzing While Waiting: Contemporary art in Tehran, Switzerland (2007). Her project Half-Light has been published as a photo book by Gnomic Book, USA (2008).
Follow Shahrzad on Instagram @shindal__
LTP Photobook Program is a year-long online course which combines seminars, critiques with guest artists, and one-on-one sessions. Working with several instructors throughout the program, while also receiving assignments and feedback from guest critics, participants will have both continuity and variety of support. The learning process is based on regular production of physical maquettes, which helps participants deepen their understanding of the book form and allow them to continue redefining it for themselves. Reading and writing assignments, as well as individualized exercises throughout the year will develop the skills and knowledge necessary for a photobook maker. While the objective of the course is to have, at the end of the year, an artist book or a physical maquette to present to publishers or to self-publish, participants also establish a practice and a community to support them going forward. The course is presented in collaboration with the Penumbra Foundation in New York City, and Image Threads Collective.
Applications for the 2024 session of the Penumbra Foundation / Image Threads LTP are open until October 6th, 2023. It is free to apply. Learn more and apply here.
Follow LTP on Instagram @photobookprogram
Penumbra Foundation is a non profit organization that brings together the Art and Science of Photography through education, research, outreach, public and residency programs. Its goal is to be a comprehensive resource for photographers at any level, artists, students, professionals, historians, researchers, conservators and curators.
Follow the Penumbra Foundation on Instagram @penumbrafoundation
Image Threads Collective brings together artists, teachers, and bookmakers who are passionate about photographic projects and books, for the mutual exchange of ideas and critical feedback. They partner with students and working artists to produce collaborative workshops, public exhibitions, and long-term mentoring relationships. They are committed to working with and for the communities who host their programming.
Follow Image Threads Collective on Instagram @imagethreads
Posts on Lenscratch may not be reproduced without the permission of the Lenscratch staff and the photographer.
Penumbra / Image Threads LTP: Adam Meeks and Raymond Meeks in ConversationSeptember 9th, 2023
Liz Albert and Shane VanOosterhout: Instant ClassicSeptember 1st, 2023
Wanted: A World For One BillionMarch 23rd, 2023