Photo by Sima Choubdarzadeh

My Name is Fear

I was seven years old when I got scared for the first time. I was coming back from school when my friend told me: “Did you know that if you reveal your hair out of your scarf, God will punish you by hanging you from it?” When I was 26, after all those fears and tragedies, I decided to stop saying my prayers and stop fearing God and Hell.

One day my husband locked me up in the house to stop me from reading books, going to the university, seeing my family, and being involved with society. This was the same day as an earthquake hit our city and I was locked up in a house on the 10th floor. The thing that I worried most about was finding the safest place to stand, but I felt an empty space beneath my feet and now I am afraid of people and events like quakes. However these fears have worn down and whenever they come back to hit me, I take a step back and hide. Even not being scared comes from being scared. Within people’s silence and their eyes I can find fear. As if “fear’ is another name for me.

Talking about these issues with people has not diminished my fears but has expanded them – therefore I took to photography and taking photos of my fears made them curdle in my blood.

My Name is Fear by Sima Choubdarzadeh