Student Maseeh Ganjali showcases photographs from Iran at Hamilton Library

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Teri L. Skillman, (808) 956-8688
Events & Communications Coordinator, Library Services
Posted: Apr 12, 2012

Cool arches
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UH Mānoa's Hamilton Library has a unique exhibit this Spring semester of photographs by student photographer, Maseeh Ganjali.  COMMON PEOPLE, COMMON PLACES ~ Photographs from Iran were taken on two trips to Iran in the past two years, 2010 and 2011. 

Ganjali was a recipient of a UH Mānoa Undergraduate Research Award grant and the Roshan Cultural Institute Fellowship to travel, photograph and conduct research on Iranian arts, history, heritage, and culture during the Fall semester in 2011.

According to Ganjali, “There are people in this world who might never be photographed, people who we might never see or hear of.  But they have incredible stories and riveting lives. It only takes a small effort on our part to realize that.” 

The very idea of “common” is simply to show that these people exist too. This is only part of a bigger picture. There are over sixty million Iranians who each have their own stories.  The aim of this project is to provide a perspective of a different place, and a perspective that is rarely available and accessible.  The goal is to present a people who are often misrepresented and misunderstood.  These are everyday people who are more like us than we might think. They feel the same emotions and dream as we do.

This exhibition is not the final goal, but a step in a long journey for creating communication and understanding between the people, which have been separated by war, miscommunication, and misrepresentation.

Ganjali was born in Tehran, Iran.  In 1997, at the age of 13, he moved to Hawaiʻi.  Ganjali graduated from Kaiser High School and received an Associates Degree from Kapiʻolani Community College in Liberal Arts.  He is currently in the last semester of  his undergraduate studies in UH Mānoa’s Theater and Dance Department.

In 2009, Ganjali directed and performed in “Puppets”, a Bahram Beyzai play performed at UHM, Doris Duke’s Shagri La and Honolulu Academy of Arts.  He was last seen on stage at Kennedy Theater in the “White Snake” and “The Vengeful Sword”.

All photographs from 2011 were sponsored by the Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute and the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s Undergraduate Research Award.

The exhibit is featured in Hamilton Library’s Elevator Gallery and will be on view into summer 2012 when the building is open to the public. 

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