این نیز بگذرد (This Too Shall Pass) is an attempt to address the desperate situation of migrants in Europe today while trying to untangle the problems of representation within photography. Consisting of three works, این نیز بگذرد (This Too Shall Pass) revolves around a two-meter-wide enlargement of a screenshot from an online roleplaying game which might at first sight appear unreadable. As the surrounding works gradually reveal the image to depict the very moment which made it possible for Yashar Maghsoudi to escape from Iran, the image proves to be the most accurate representation of Yashar's complex story of migration and escape – in a form and a language which has to be read through Yashar’s perspective in order to be comprehended.
In the image, Yashar plays as the World of Warcraft Blood Elf Paladin "Nighetboy". 13 years old, forming a group with other players and traveling for hours across all the virtual borders in world of the game, Yashar had finally been able to make it into the heart of the capital city of the opposing nation. While one of the most difficult achievements in the game, Yashar couldn’t realize the full significance of this until two years later. In real life, Yashar was living in the city Bandar-e Anzali in Iran when he was suddenly accused of trying to convert from Islam. Persecuted by the Islamic religious police and forced to escape the country, Yashar was able to sell his virtual character in order to pay for his real escape, most likely saving his life. Consequently, by participating in a virtual conflict and managing to make it across the borders of a fictional world, it became possible for Yashar to cross the very real borders of Iran and Europe, and finally make it to Sweden.
In combination with the image, an audio recording explores Yashar’s story about how the virtual world became a way to escape the real oppression in Iran, both figuratively and literally. The audio continues into present day where Yashar’s asylum application has been rejected six times by the Swedish Migration Agency, leaving him in a legal limbo where he’s neither granted asylum nor can be deported. Meanwhile, a table consisting of texts, notes and Polaroid photographs, investigates the working process and the problems of representation within photography, asking the question if it’s ever possible to tell another person’s story – which in this case is both political and deeply personal.
The work in این نیز بگذرد (This Too Shall Pass) comes from a frustration with the inability to ever fully understand or communicate the history of another individual. It’s built on that inability – which doesn’t exclude the possibility of identification or empathy – but puts it to the test, in this case to expand the perception of what might at first appear to be a meaningless image. As the virtual world can has a profound effect on what's perceived as the real, it challenges the conventional distinction between reality and fiction in the documentary image. Simultaneously, the scale of the image claims an authority much like a historical painting made to inspire awe at a national museum, and asks: who decides the language of an image? Who is allowed into history?
این نیز بگذرد (This Too Shall Pass) has been exhibited at Galleri Monitor, Gothenburg, Sweden (2017), Landskrona Photo Festival, Landskrona, Sweden (2017) and at Lagos Photo Festival, Nigeria (2017). It has been published with texts by Niclas Östlind and Annika von Hausswolff in the anthology "Young Photography Now – Sweden", Art & Theory (2017).