Azadeh Besharati is the recipient of the 2019 Emerging Photographer Fund and has been granted $10,000 for this essay. Burn Magazine revolves around the EPF and it is our most important curatorial contribution to the oftentimes chaotic landscape of photography today. Most importantly, our mission is to give recognition to the finest emerging authors out there and to provide some funding to keep going and to continue making a mark.

Azadeh Besharati

Shima & Shiva

EPF 2019 RECIPIENT – $10,000

Shima and Shiva, they fight to have a happy life, though happy life is hard to be achieved. Shima and Shiva are twins. They are 23. They were born in Masal in Guilan province, Iran. When they were one, their convulsions started because of genetic problems. They were unable to walk since then. At the same time, they lost their father in an accident. As they became older, their mother was unable to look after them so they were delivered to a nursing house for elderly and disabled. Shima and Shiva are very welcoming and friendly with the visitors because they need their help to leave the nursing home temporarily as the visitors’ guest and to see more of this world. These twins are not friendly with the staff of the nursing home because they can’t understand one and other. The nurses and the other patients can’t understand these twins because they are always planning to have fun. In addition, these twins don’t neglect their wishes and they try to fulfill them. They don’t understand the rules of the nursing home. They like sleeping late at nights and they believe this is their right to fall in love, travel, swim and ride their wheelchairs around the city in bazaars and streets. Authorities in Iran only pay attention to the basic needs of the handicaps such as food, clothing and shelter. This is the reason why these children and other handicapped babies are reluctant to think about their future. They can’t dream or enjoy their lives. Shima and Shiva are in that critical period of their lives that people become emotionally sensitive and they look for love all the time. They know that living is their obvious right and because they are twins they resist more severely not to let others topple their right. They are a combination of loneliness and togetherness. They are a combination of happiness and sadness…

Short Bio

Azadeh Besharati is a documentary photographer and poet, living in Rasht, Iran.

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The Emerging Photographer Fund is supported by generous donors to the Magnum Foundation

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