Reflections of Persia celebrates the journey of a scholar, photographer, literary translator, and above all, an Iranologist, who has gone above and beyond the political borders of Iran.
Riccardo began his academic career in 1978, and at present, chairs the Department of Eurasian Studies at the University of Venice, where he teaches Persian literature and photography.
What initially began in the 70s as an interest in the landscape photography of rural Iran has now turned into a career that has taken him to dozens of countries, and seen his works showcased in galleries around the world.
Riccardo’s latest book, Reflections of Persia brings together the uniqueness of the scholar and photographer’s life and work. In the introduction, in both Italian and English, he evokes the likes of the 17th century Persian-language poet from India, ‘Abdo ’l-Qâder Bidel (popularly referred to as Bidel Dihlavi, lit. ‘The Heartless One of Delhi’), and Jorge Luis Borges in pondering the process of discovering, studying, photographing, and rediscovering Iran. Reflections of Persia features 50 photographs of Persian landscapes as well as those of 15 other countries, including Cuba, Iceland, Mexico, Morocco, Yemen, and Oman, that have been presented alongside one another within a dialogue.
Reflections of Persia also features 52 lines of poetry, translated in English and Italian, by Bidel. The concept of reflection is central to the poems, while the image of the mirror (widely evoked in Persian Sufi literature) constantly resurfaces. Bidel’s verse, known for its complexity and ‘polysemantic labyrinths’ ties in well with the general theme of the book: that is, of tracing reflections of Persia in all its geographical diversity in remote and faraway landscapes. The selected poems speak powerfully alongside the photographs, each image having been arranged in thematic sets with one photograph acting as a source of inspiration (the mirror) for the other four photographs, which present variations (reflections) of the theme.
Continue reading Reflections of Persia by Aria Fani