Human beings make wishes from childhood onwards, until their last breath. Making a wish is an opportunity foreveryone regardless of their geographical, social, political and economic situation, and that wish can be either close to reality or wholly detached from it.
This photographic collection is about people suffering from schizophrenia who have lived together for manyyears in a mental health clinic in Tehran, Iran, alongside their own loneliness, thoughts and wishes.Like all of us, they have their own hopes and dreams that exist in the outside world, and these are often largerthan their small world inside the clinic in which they live. The outside world is always interesting for them, and they think about it constantly. They cherish their childhood memories and their parents, children, families andhomes, longing for travel and the people whom they love.
When I first met and spoke with this group, I felt close to them and realised I could have been any of them, and any of them could have been me. I asked them individually, “What is your biggest dream in the outside world?”Whilst their answers were unique, I discovered that their hopes and regrets were also regular portions of mydaily life that I have the privilege to enjoy.
By placing myself in their imagined state and taking photos of these scenarios, I could help to represent them in their desired situation. For the final shot, I projected these photos inside the clinic and took portraits of the dreamers.
Each photo consists of five layers. The first layer is the patient; the second is what they wish for in the outsideworld, and the third layer is my routine daily life as it overlapped with the dreams of the people in the clinic. The fourth layer is myself, the photographer, when I took the photos while imagining the patients in their dreams.The fifth layer is the relationship between the people I photographed and myself as a photographer.