Donning the Headscarf: The Lessons of Love

PhotographerAmy Siqveland
PrizeHonorable Mention
City/CountryMinneapolis, United States
Photo Date2/25/2015
Story

In this photo all 9-year-old girls in Iran were celebrating the day they would begin to wear the headscarf (or chador) as women. The English lesson this group had just learned at school was about the "expression of kindness" and they welcomed me into their midst all screaming loudly how much they loved me. It was a nice juxtaposition to the many warnings I had heard about traveling to this country as an American and was one of my favorite experiences from my trip. I was visiting during the nuclear negotiations between our two countries in Switzerland. Although a deal was struck, relations between our governments are still strained and both embassies remain closed. I wanted to see for myself how the macro politics were affecting the micro level and I wanted to help build bridges of citizen diplomacy. I found the people to be extremely warm and friendly.

Entry Description

In this photo all 9-year-old girls in Iran were celebrating the day they would begin to wear the headscarf or chador. The English lesson this group had just learned at school was about the "expression of kindness" and they welcomed me into their midst all screaming loudly how much they loved me. It was a nice juxtaposition to all the warnings I had heard about traveling to this country as an American and was one of my favorite experiences during my trip.

Story

In this photo all 9-year-old girls in Iran were celebrating the day they would begin to wear the headscarf (or chador) as women. The English lesson this group had just learned at school was about the "expression of kindness" and they welcomed me into their midst all screaming loudly how much they loved me. It was a nice juxtaposition to the many warnings I had heard about traveling to this country as an American and was one of my favorite experiences from my trip. I was visiting during the nuclear negotiations between our two countries in Switzerland. Although a deal was struck, relations between our governments are still strained and both embassies remain closed. I wanted to see for myself how the macro politics were affecting the micro level and I wanted to help build bridges of citizen diplomacy. I found the people to be extremely warm and friendly.

About Photographer

I write and shoot photographs because I believe art can be one the most important mediums for exchanging dialogue and creating change. I am a former social worker and am passionate about human rights issues, environmental conservation and the empowerment of women and marginalized communities. I believe in using my pen and camera as grassroots tools to both honor hope and fight oppression in a nonviolent manner.