People & pistachios
Written and photographed by Ulla Kimmig
December 11, 2000
It was the first time I went to an Islamic country. Naturally I was interested
in topics related to women. I also knew that as a woman, I had more of an advantage
compared to male photographers. I could go placed they could not. Kimmig's
The first trip was organized by an Iranian travel agency. It was good to get a
certain feel for the country. But it has clear that I had go out on my own in my
By chance I met the right people, including photographer Nader Davoodi, who helped
me organize the second trip to feature the pistachio harvest in Rafsanjan together
with a German journalist.
We had a young female translator, who was very helpful. We were already pretty
late for the harvest. This year it started earlier than usual. But even if we had
known this fact, there was still the problem of getting a visa.
Generally the visa comes later than promised, not to mention the problems in booking
flights, hotels, etc. But we finally succeeded in getting a visa -- a week later
than we thought. After arriving in Tehran, we went to Culture Ministry. People were
extremely nice there and we had no problems.
By the time we got to Rafsanjan most of the pistachios had already been picked.
We made our way through the local people asking them about their harvest. Everybody
was so helpful. We could make a great story as you see in the pictures.
I could take photos almost anywhere. Women in general wanted me to take their
picture. Even though they realized I am not an amateur photographer, they seemed
to trust me.
Our translator got two marriage offers since she is extremely pretty. Unfortunately,
she had to turn them down. (I think she was quite happy to finally leave Rafsanjan.)
After eight days, our work was finished and we took the train from Kerman back
to Tehran. The following photos are selections from my work in Tehran, Rafsanjan,
and on the train. Click on images to see larger photos: