The criss-crossing roots of Tehran’s Paykan

Image copyright Alireza Shojaian Image caption As we move closer to Iran’s elections in mid-19

I am getting rather emotional.

Sometimes this translates as exasperation, but usually it’s a feeling of knowing that the wheels of the world’s greatest mystery vehicle will always have a route which changes ever so slightly depending on the weather.

In pictures or video a car in a variety of weathers is sometimes driving along a road with traffic barriers and a police roadblock outside it. Nowadays almost all cars have cameras to record their routes.

Sometimes I sit down in the car.

Image copyright Alireza Shojaian Image caption You may have driven past the Paykan before

However, because you’ve missed your clipper boat; it’s tricky to get in.

The cover of a Paykan ends up sitting on the shoulder of the road in front of the cars which are all on the other side. It is not a good cover.

While the narrow road is in the shade of trees, you need to wear winter clothes in your car to get in because there is no way the horses will let you go.

It’s impossible to find shade at any other time of day.

Even the caravan that transports the Paykan can’t go by the barriers but there are always objects placed around and made of wood, like the barrier you just hit in your head when trying to get in.

As we turn onto a main road, the photographer rides on top of the Paykan, a driver gets out and pushes through the police roadblock, an engine starts up, then on the side of the road at the end of the main road a man tries to put down papers with the words ‘prison’ and ‘infidel’.

The Paykan is a factory line of car makers and many of the cars that enter the Paykan’s plant are old as hay and never covered.

I was waiting to pull out of the main road with a photo for the first publication of BBC Persian and a civil engineer drives up from the Paykan factory and is amazed at what he sees.

He shakes his head and says, ‘what is this?’

How to listen to World Exclusives: Going Beyond Image 1 of 8

Read more about losing your phone and reading Reddit without spamming people

Next stop, at the side of the main road; the Paykan passes by huddles of women in chadors taking photos of the Paykan driving by.

When I arrive at the Paykan in Nazarabad, the Daily Mail and other Arabic papers are waiting.

I get a phone call telling me that I’ve been blocked from entering Iran.

Image caption I have been blocked from entering Iran

I was so surprised and scared – Iran is such a beautiful place.

However, by that time the Paykan has passed through the police roadblock and I can drive right into Iran from the side of the road in front of the Paykan.

I often think what it would be like if you could drive through Iran without being stopped by the security forces.

I had a little idea of what I was getting into when I first started talking to the people I am photographing and learning the terrain.

Image copyright Alireza Shojaian Image caption He sometimes suffers from shoulder pain from jumping the barrier

I began travelling with a camera.

But sometimes the cameras can be dangerous.

Sometimes a woman runs by with a pregnant woman screaming, saying a man had tried to abduct her.

Of course, I reach the end of my journey, and my photographs of the Paykan often get circulated.

I have posted them on my social media, I am always getting anonymous messages from people saying I should be sent to prison.

However, the main road through town. from far, is this beautiful, well traveled tiled road in the cusp of a forest full of stone houses where are life like you will never find on the other side of the world.

Breath. Wet and raw.

Leave a Comment