The Eyes of Earth by Solmaz Daryani
The Eyes of Earth by Solmaz Daryani is the recipient of the 2021 FotoEvidence W Award.
Copyright 2021 FotoEvidence. All rights reserved.
Photographs copyright © 2021 Solmaz Daryani
Personal Essay copyright © 2021 Solmaz Daryani
Memories © 2021 Manoocher Deghati
Introduction © Amir AghaKouchak
Photo Editor: Manoocher Deghati
Text Editor: David Stuart
Design: Joao Linneu
Image Post Production: Eduardo Matas/Addretouch
THE EYES OF EARTH tells a deeply personal story about the environmental disaster at Lake Urmia as seen through the eyes of Solmaz Daryani, a self-taught photographer, who grew up on the lake. Her grandfather ran a lakefront hotel in the tourist port of Sharafkhaneh and her uncles were sailors. She spent her childhood summers with her grandparents on the lake and, less than a decade ago, her grandfather hosted dozens of people every day. It was the disappearing lake and faded childhood memories that induce her to take the camera and start documenting what was left of the largest lake in the Middle East and the second largest salt lake on the planet.
The book is designed by Portuguese designer Joao Linneu. The photography is edited by Manoocher Deghati who also spent his childhood summers on Lake Urmia some 40 years ago. A personal essay by the photographer and a short text of some of Deghati's memories provide personal narratives that reveal the intimate relationship between this human community and the ecosystem they depended on. Introduction by Amir AghaKouchak, professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth System Science at the University of California, Urvine.
The book will contain 112 pages, 45 color photograph and 19 images from the Daryani's family archive.
“The Eyes of Earth” is dedicated to Narges Qasempoor, Solmaz' grandmother. An illiterate woman who knew the importance of balance between humans and nature and managed to plant 800 trees during her lifetime. She died from Covid-19 during the process of creating the book.