Festival Accès Asie proudly presents The Smile of Afghanistan, an exhibition of recent work by Iranian photographer Hamed Tabein. The public is invited to attend the opening on Friday, May 5th from 5 to 7 pm, preceded by a performance of Golestan, an Afghani dance group.
The Smile of Afghanistan is a documentary photography project that began in 2013 reflecting the life of the Afghan people full of hope and happiness. With this photo exhibition, Tabein wants to portray Afghanistan in a new light, different from the one we see most often, tarnished by years of war and suffering. Instead, Tabein’s photos reveal the hope of a people’s hard work reconstructing their country, and of the happiness that prevails despite their difficulties.
Tabein found it difficult to photograph the smile of these Afghans as Smile demonstrates their confidence against and defiance of the stranger. After the events of the past 30 years, a feeling of mistrust has developed among the population and public demonstrations of joy are unusual. In this exhibition there will be as many genuine smiles as suspicious ones.
The Smile of Afghanistan is a two-part project that includes documentary photography and photography lessons for young Afghans, girls in particular.
This project has benefited from the support of numerous Canadian and Afghan institutions, such as the Afghan Embassy in Ottawa, The Afghan Women’s Association in Toronto, The Afghan Women’s Association in Montreal, the Afghan-Canadienne Maison, Zarnegar Magazine, and Hafteh newspaper.
Iranian born Hamed Tabein has been involved in the world of photography for twenty years. Tabein is an artist and a teacher as well as exhibitions’ executive director and general manager of photography festivals. His work has been exhibited all over the world and published in National Geographic. He has written on photography for various magazines. Tabein is currently taking part in the Residency Project of the Maison de la photo de Montreal which exhibits in several Canadian cities. At the moment, Tabein is studying photography at Concordia University and taking professional photography courses at The Museum of Modern Arts in New York. Tabein is a member of the Fédération Professionnelle des Journalistes du Québec, the Canadian Association for Photographic Art, and Photographes Sans Frontières. (www.hamedtabein.com)
Golestan troupe is composed of three young women with varied backgrounds, but with the same desire to promote and discover the dances and culture of the East, especially those of Afghanistan. While Valeska, Sandra and Mariyam all have a background in oriental dance, they each have their own unique style. Indeed, Valeska’s dance is tinged with flamenco, Sandra’s with tribal-fusion and Mariyam’s with Afghan dance. They have each participated in numerous performances and are very involved in the world of oriental dance. Today, they continue their training and nourish their passion for the dances of the Orient.
Hamed Tabein – Photographer
Golestan – Afghani Dance Group