Robin Hood of the desert

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Primarily set during the reign of Nasser’ed-Din Shah Qajar in Iran, this anthology is a collection of true stories about people and events that were, at one time, an integral part of the social fabric of Persian life. Behnoud has sought to uncover stories which have, over time, slipped from the memories of a nation and done so in a bid to reveal the multi-coloured threads which connected people in the past. The characters in these stories were once well known but now memory of them has faded like old photographs which become buried under years of history; the faces are distorted by creases and the colours tarnished. Behnoud has retouched the pictures in an effort to brighten the rusty colours and breathe new life into the stories. We are being encouraged to consider what impact and relevance these stories might have when they are retold in the twenty-first century; will they command the attention that they once had.

The answer to these questions was what tempted Behnoud to create this collection; the hope is that people will again come to love both the stories and the story-makers. These stories are not fiction, some parts have their roots in history, but the vision may be blurred between pictures which at times appear to be a true version of the reality of our world while at others they seem more like a reflection of an amateur painter’s imagination