Iranian landscape photographer and environmentalist.

I am an Iranian landscape photographer and environmentalist. I have always had a love for the outdoors. Since 2004 I have been a passionate nature photographer with a love for trees and have become known for the portrayal of my tree photographs. I was TED speaker in Baku in 2010, and I published a book about the life of trees named “The passion of trees” in the UK in 2017.

My childhood passed in the Arasbaran forests and the intact nature of Azerbaijan. I still remember when I used to go to the homeland of my father on the foothills of the Savalan Mountain, solitary roads, apple trees, mountains full of snow and green valleys, sounds of birds and melody of brooks that was heard from everywhere, drew my attention away from the adult’s world.

These beautiful sceneries made my childhood memories and engraved my perception of the universe as haveing the aroma of nature.

It has been three decades since those days until today. These days I attempted to visit my father’s homeland and experience my memories again, but my father has passed away and no longer among us, and there is no snow on the mountains!

The old trees of Arasbaran have been cut and pillaged! The rocks and the mountains are not as glorious as before, and trucks transfer the soil of the copper mine of Varzaghan to unknown places.

The rivers no longer sound wild, and instead of melodious streams seem now only to carry the sound of heavy trucks scratching your ears, passing from one mine to another. Asphalt factories and abandoned unfinished buildings…

I wonder how I can restore all these different images, days and lost childhood. Memories for myself and my friend Dorreh! It has already been more than two months since Coronavirus has infected Iran and the entire world. Hard times of quarantine and the people who feel more alone than before.

It seems that all human achievements and desire exposed to transitions and nature takes an act of serious revenge from thumanity.

My friend and I decided to take photos of this solitude and quarantine days, only this time not showing the beauty of nature but the elements and subjects who annoys misfit and us with nature.

Dorreh wished to be part of this protest. She is wearing a white mask to illustrate how we are breathing with difficulty. We do not have birds, trees or water anymore. We are vomiting. “I’m afraid”, she says. “I’m afraid of becoming a mother! I’m afraid of the world that our unborn children will experience and when there are no signs of the wonderful nature as we remember and experienced in our childhood.”

 

To me, each tree, like a human-being, has a tale to tell. When a tree dies, a whole story is interrupted, a destiny is altered for the worse. I feel as if the trees, bundled at the back of trucks, are cursing us with their broken hands, wounded faces, and severed roots. Perhaps this is how we are led towards damnation, little by little stripped of our humanity, when man’s “abounding foliage moistened with the dew” is reduced to ash and smoke

https://www.alishokri.art

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https://www.amazon.co.uk/Passion-Trees-Ali-Shokri/dp/1788035062