20-year old Maryam Sadeghi studies Illustration at the Academy of Art in Tehran and makes hand made jewelry which is sold in Texas. Maryam finds her country full of tiring restrictions and sadness is often bored:she is determined to emigrate to America once she finishes her studies. When asked about her future dreams and aspirations she says: “ I do not have many wishes because I got everything I wanted, but many little wishes do exist. One is to meet the actor Mehran Modir -  the only one who makes us laugh in this hard situation in Iran…My last wish, and many people are afraid of it - is death. I came to this egoistic world where everybody think about themselves…I hope that when I die, I shall find the world that I was always looking for. ”

Loulou d’Aki

Make a Wish


“This is just a dream, but fortunately dreams do come true.” Cyrus P., 15, Tehran, Iran It’s a rainy November morning in Gaza and a truce has just been announced after 8 days of fighting. A young man stands in the rubbles of what is left of his home, destroyed in an air strike just an hour before the war ended. His name is Ahmed, he is 18 years old, the son of a fisherman. He wants to live in peace and go to college but we are in the Gaza strip and dreams have their limits here, you often have the feeling of being caught up in a game where you always turn out the looser.

MAKE A WISH is a photo essay looking at the hopes and dreams of youth, aiming to create a testimony of our time. It’s inspired by the fact that youth should be the age of infinite possibilities. Most of the MAKE A WISH project has been shot in the Middle East and in situations linked to the Arab Spring revolution or in conflict zones where youth too often is derived of it’s right to be young.

The Arab Spring catapulted a taste of freedom in people across a region so long affected by dictators, Western foreign policies gone awry and poor social development. Spring turned to summer, fall and winter, months turned to years and the original revolution into something much different from the ideals of freedom shouted at squares across the region. When I set out to work on this project, I did so with the assumption that youth is an age of infinite possibility when aspiration is not yet conditioned by experience. As the work evolved I began to understand until which extent aspirations are conditioned by the society in which we live and the circumstances under which we grow up.

Make a Wish is shot in medium format negative with a Hasselblad camera. For each portrait I ask the person to write down his or her dream in my notebook. Together, the text and the pictures become a testimony of youth of our time.



Short Bio

Loulou d’Aki is a photographer born and raised on the Swedish seaside. Her main interest lies in how human beings are affected by the society in which they live and the influence of visible or invisible borders. Alongside commissioned work and freelance editorials Lou focuses on various long term projects such as: MAKE A WISH a photo essay looking at the hopes and dreams of youngsters across the globe. CITY HEADACHE the post-war generation’s way of handling the Iranian dress code in its own way within a society where the urban recollection of war and martyrdom is an unevitable and constant factor. Lou’s work has been exhibited at Prix Bayeux Calvados des correspondents de guerre, Noorderlicht Photofestival, Singapore Photofestival, The Other hundred, Foto Leggendo, Mois de la photo, Portraet nu!… Some of her clients include Le Monde, die Zeit, New York Times, TIMES, NY Magazine, Dagens Nyheter, Internazionale, National Geographic Proof, Unicef, New Yorker etc.


Related Links

Loulou d’Aki

2 thoughts on “Loulou d’Aki – Make a Wish”

  1. Once again photos with captions, there really is a need to integrate the text and visuals as one. Alternatively one should be able to communicate the idea visually without tags. The image creating skills are here but it just lacks direction

Comments are closed.