Yazd “Jewel of the Desert”, Yazd “City of Wind Towers”, Yazd …

In trying to inform ourselves about this city, we will eventually encounter
these and other designations. We will also soon find out that the city of Yazd
is situated at about 1,200 m above sea level in a shallow valley in central Iran,
covers an area of 2,397 km2, is the capital of a province of the same name and
has about 500,000 inhabitants.
Yet what distinguishes Yazd above and beyond the statistics, how is this
city which so fascinates us perceived and experienced by others, what
images are imprinted on the visitor’s mind and to what extent does the
cultural background influence the perceived image – to try to answer
these and other questions was the starting point and motivation for the
intercultural project “My Yazd”*.
In September 2005 we invited 17 representatives of (artistic) photography
from Iran and 6 European countries to come to Yazd and spend a week
together there. Their first step towards getting to know one another on
site was taken by presenting their work in the form of short lectures, after
which some of them also gave additional photography workshops for young
Iranian students. However, most of the time was at the disposal of the artists
to explore and study the city, to assimilate their own perceptions, experiences
and impressions of Yazd and then express them in an artistic form, which
they then presented, compared and discussed together. The final product
that materialised from this encounter is the volume of photographs selected
by the artists that you are now holding in your hands – to help you get a
picture of the city …
Nariman Mansouri / Stephan Schwarz
Project Coordinators
X-CHANGE culture-science