Only one view
On the eve of my 40th birthday, during the outbreak of the Coronavirus, I traveled from Iran to Germany to build a new life in Hamburg, but the souvenir of my trip from Iran to Germany was the corona brought with me. I have to quarantine at home for two weeks., I passed two weeks of quarantine at home. During these two weeks, I could have only seen one view.
An exhibition of these photographs was held at the thalia-theater complex in Hamburg called “The Other City”.
Varza Jang [bull fight] is the fight organised between male bulls in the north of Iran. The ceremony is currently only performed in Gilan and Mazandaran provinces. But in the past, it was common all over Iran and a part of the entertainment that took place at local celebrations alongside other games that consisted of making animals including rams, buffalos, guard dogs, bears, etc. fight each other.
Bull is called varza in Tabari and Gilaki languages. Bull fight has been organised from the distant past in the leisure time between farming and on various occasions. They prepared the bulls before the fight and rubbed raw garlic onto the bull horns to make the horns more effective and sharper. The bull owners pay great attention to these animals.
Bull fight is mainly performed on the plain areas of Mazandaran in Amol, Noor, and Chamestan, and in Gilan in Fooman, Roodsar, Anzali, Some’esara, Rasht, Lahijan, and Siyahkal.
After the initial preparations, they send the bulls to the arena to fight, and their owners take money from the people. Some bet on the fight, which led to imposing restrictions on the fight.
Autumn and early winter are the best times for bull fight because the bulls are physically strong enough at that time.
After making up the bulls, they are brought to the battlefield with a rope around their necks. When they are walked around, they attack and push each other. The owners stand near them, provoking the bulls with their thick and hard clubs, and the fight continues until one of the bulls escapes or falls, or is severely wounded or killed. The fight is performed secretly in some parts of Gilan today.
I took these photos near Some’esara on 3 February 2016.