Iran’s New Landscape

Manuel Álvarez Diestro Tehran, Iran

As if they emerged directly from the earth, the blocks photographed by Diestro outside Tehran evoke apocalyptic landscapes that question the way in which we must face the growth of the urban population.
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Focussing on the threshold from landscape to city, the work of Manuel Álvarez Diestro (Santander, 1972) proposes to think about the place humans occupy on the territory, documenting the negative impact of their activity but also the beauty underlying the transformed environment. Along the same line of other projects developed by the photographer in large metropolises like Cairo, Doha, and Beirut, the series ‘New Landscapes of Iran’ is devoted to the urban developments
sprouting on the outskirts of Tehran, reflecting how these new cities are aggressively conquering the desert. The radical juxtaposition of construction and territory makes the buildings look like mock-ups lying on a wavy blanket so uniform that it decontextualizes the whole ensemble. Aspects like the continuity or capacity for organic growth, which have traditionally characterized Irani cities, are threatened by the non-descript constructions that colonize their outskirts.
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