9 months of preparation, 24 students, 2 different countries and 1 vision – Intercultural exchange.
The DAAD funded Workshop TWO CITIES has finally begun. Us, 12 German students from the Dortmund University of applied Sciences and Arts set feet on Iranian ground late on the 29th of April.
First careful steps on Tehran streets
After checking in at our hotel with a nice view over the vibrant green Daneshjoo Park ( means student park) and a more or less recreative night of sleep, we paved our way through the heavy traffic and crowded streets to the Tehran University of Art for our first day of the workshop.
Though the Iranian and German students have seen photos of each other, had a look at each other’s work and even exchanged some first words via Telegram app this was our first official meeting in person.
All the work from the past months became finally a tangible reality.
After welcoming words from the professors Jörg Winde and Motarjemzadeh buzzing and chatty conversations emerged concerning the photographic projects we would work on for the upcoming 12 days which would find its completion in a self organised exhibition at Negarkhaneh Honar.
The students would work in groups of two, working on either one project all together or helping each other with their individual projects.
The intercultural exchange – team work, support, learning from each other, getting to know the city, country and culture – being the main focus of this workshop is perpetually present right from the beginning.
The University of Art, Tehran
The University of Art is located directly at the huge and busy Vali asr street and is an old and huge complex housing not only the photographic department but also many other craftsmanships such as pottery, wood work, industrial design and carpeting.
The first day consisted basically of having a quick glance at said departments, lunch, discussing the project in the morning and early afternoon.
The late afternoon was reserved to start into our projects right away, let it be organisation or even beginning with photographing already.
The second day in Tehran started early.
A bus took us to the main campus Bagh-e melli where we were welcomed by the Dean Dr. Akrami, Dr. Mohamad Motarjemzadeh, Katayoun Ghods Rad, Farhad Soleymani.
Being in Iran the Dean’s speech to the students was unceremoniously interrupted by two waiters entering with a trolley table to serve the omnipresent tea along with some fruits and biscuits.
The National museum of Iran and great bazar of Tehran
After several more motivated and grateful speeches of professors and students and after receiving favors we continued our programme with a visit at the National Museum of Iran and had a fantastic lunch at a restaurant in the heart of the great bazar of Tehran. Afterwards we were left to our own resources and could continue with our projects.
The first days have been busy ones , filled with lots of program but also left us with lots of time to get to know each other better. It doesn’t really feel like the second day of the workshop but more like we’ve known each other and been friends for ages already.