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Photographer's Note

I was captivated by the eyes of these two young Iranian girls when visiting a television station in Shiraz last month to watch the production of a children’s programme. They were part of a group of 17 local children in traditional nomadic dress who were to participate in the programme. They looked a little apprehensive as they were waiting to be shown into the studio (which was when I took this shot) but once the costumed characters appeared on set, they forgot about their nervousness and it was a delight to see so many happy faces interacting with the characters.

I have posted to the workshop a photograph of the programme in production at the studios of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) which produces many hours of children’s programming at regional centres throughout Iran, as well as in Tehran. The Shiraz studios also produce animated feature films and I was amazed at the high quality of the productions – especially as their animation team numbers only about 10 people.

IRIB is a government broadcaster and has six national television networks, more than 20 provincial stations and nine national radio networks. Its television networks transmit 55,000 hours of programmes a year, with local productions making up about 80% of the programmes.

There are no private television stations in Iran, but some people do watch international channels like BBC and CNN with satellite dishes.

The image is slightly noisy as it was cropped actual size out of a much larger group photograph. For that reason I was hesitant to post it, but I like the look of innocence in these eyes. Unfortunately it will only be a few years before these kids come to realise that the people of the world are not as friendly to each other as the characters in the TV show in which they have just appeared.

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Additional Photos by David Astley (banyanman) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1237 W: 108 N: 2568] (7789)
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