I am lost, look, and find me!

Karim Mottaghi

Mamaat Art Collective

In the Shiite Muslim religion, it is a sacrament to go to cemeteries on Thursdays and Fridays to recite prayers and the Qur'an at their loved ones’ graves. This Thursday and Friday (December 23-24, 2021) it snowed heavily and it was difficult to go to the Vadi-Rahmat Cemetery in Tabriz. On Saturday (December 25, 2021), I went to my mother's grave (dead on December 17, 2020 ) and the section dedicated to Corona victims. It was difficult for the people present in the cemetery to identify the graves of their loved ones; all of the signs were lost under the snow. Each one somehow removed the snow from the gravestones. As Covid drove them away from their families, the snow also has added to this arrogance of separation, as they struggled to find the graves of their loved ones. They were so anxiously looking for the marks of father, mother, brother, sister and child that they seemed to be looking for a riddle or for " Dead Christ in the Grave" - a painting by Hans Holbein! Based on supposition and suspicion, they removed several graves to find their beloved graves from the photo engraved on the gravestone. If they found it, they would clear all the snow and otherwise leave it. These are the graves of victims whose loved ones have not come to their graves this week. According to a woman crying over her mother’s grave, the content of the looking photos on the gravestones was: I am lost, look, and find me!

Karim Mottaghi 1966, from Tabriz, Iran. MA degree in photography. University lecturer. Translator of the books: Beauty in Photography (Robert Adams), Kafka and Photography (Carolin Duttlinger), Tete A Tete (Henri Cartier-Bresson), Beauty in Photography (Robert Adams), Photospeak (Gilles Mora), The Visual Dictionary of Photography (David Prakel), Undertanding a Photograph (John Berger), The Minimalist Photographer (Steve Johnso), A World History of Photography (Naomi Rosenblum) and Compiler of a pictorial book (the Lake Urmia): BiAban – Secretary of the Second, Third, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh and Eights National and International Festival of Firoozeh Tabriz. – Member of the Jury: 1. The first national photo festival of Firoozeh Tabriz 2. The third national photo festival of Mashhad 3. Two periods of the Ministry of Labor and Cooperative of Tehran 4. The first and second period of Tabriz Beauties 5. The Koranic Tables of Tehran 6. The 4th National Festival of House of Friend (Mashhad, Iran) 7. Third and Fourth National Quran Festival in Mirror Picture 8. Razavi Photographic Festival (2016) – Selected and Third Rank of Uromiya Youth Festival – Winner of the 10th and 11th photography biennale of Iran, Tehran – Selected and winner of the two Asahi Gold Medals of Shibun Japan, courses 63 and 66 – Selected of the Chinese Humane Society, 2009 – “For the courage to look and show others what he saw”.

[ COVID EXPRESSIONS ] An interpretive project that reflects the personal experiences, feelings and thoughts related to COVID-19 and its impact. It may be conceptual or artistic in the approach. Submissions do not have to adhere to documentary principles. Alternate processes and digital manipulations are allowed. Each submission consists of 5 to 20 images. Each participant is allowed to enter up to 2 submissions. All images must be taken in 2021.

Judges for Covid Expressions
Ikuru Kuwajima
Tanvi Mishra
Sanjit Das
Maika Elan
Oded Wagenstein