This photograph forms part of the Art Fund Collection of Middle Eastern Photography.

This is an Art Fund initiative for the British Museum and V&A and the broad aim is to create a world-class capsule collection of major names and emerging talents in photography from the Middle East (whether living in the region or in diaspora), from 1900 to today. The Art Fund has given the two museums grants over £150,000 for the collection and additional support for the tour of the collection. Atashi is an Iranian photographer who wants to document public places to give an insight into Iranian life and society. This work from the Zurkhaneh series shows the interior of a Zurkhaneh or sports arena with men in their traditional costume. Atashi has skilfully combined these staged scenes with images of herself in them (she can be seen in the mirrors). This is very much a menÂ’s arena and the introduction of a woman here is controversial.

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