The Kish island is the only free trade zone in Iran and people who travel there think they can make up for the freedom they never had before; however, this dream is no more than an illusion because the island is brimmed with meaninglessness and absurdity. Owing to less governmental restrictions, Iranian tourists consider the island as a haven for releasing their tensions and energy; besides, the government has set restricting visa laws for traveling overseas, which encourages native tourists to choose the Kish island more than before. The photographer was there in April 2016 and he tried his best in depicting a kind of absurdity which he felt existed there among lots of people who came to visit the island for a vacation with an illusive dream of freedom in a free trade zone in Iran.
Hashem Shakeri was born in Tehran, Iran in 1988. He studied architecture in TAFE (New South Wales Technical and Further Education Commission of Australia) and also participated in the Photography Foundation Program at the same university. He began practicing photography in 2006 and started a professional career in documentary photography in 2010. Since then he has been working as a freelance on arrange of commissions and private projects in Iran, Turkey, Korea, Malaysia and France. His main concern in documentary photography is to explore human relations and social justice. Through his photography, he tries to depict the lost identity of the modern man/woman. Hashem Shakeri has been working as a photojournalist for various Iranian and foreign news agencies and newspapers since 2008. He has taken part in many national and international festivals and has won more than ten awards. Among them are the 2015 Ian Parry Scholarship, winner of the Lucas Dolega Award 2016 and the winner of POY's World Understanding Award 2017-the 74th annual Pictures of the Year International competition. His works have been published in numerous publications around the world such as Sunday Times, New York Times, Paris Match, Von Magazine, L’OBS, British Journal of Photography, Reporters Sans Frontieres and etc. Hashem Shakeri has been a member of the Iranian Photographers Society since 2009. He has also had experience in making feature films and documentaries.