Names of Colors by Nasrollah Kasraian, translated by Poupeh Missaghi
Names of Colors
by Nasrollah Kasraian
Translated by Poupeh Missaghi
I don’t know the names of colors.
The same way
I don’t know the names of trees
And most unbelievable of it all
The names of the colors of eyes.
I just see them
And it’s my eyes
That know their names.
N.K. Mehr 1400 (October 2021)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nasrollah Kasraian was born in 1944 in Khorram Abad, in the province of Lorestan in Iran. Known as the father of Iranian ethnographic photography, he was arrested by the Pahlavi regime in early 1971 for his political activism and for the translation of The Bolivian Diary of Ernesto Che Guevara. Whilst in prison, he translated his first book on photography. Upon his release in 1975, he became a professional photographer. Since then, he has published more than thirty-one books of photography, many of them in collaboration with his wife, the ethnographer and educator Ziba Arshi, documenting the lives of different Iranian ethnic groups, nomads, and the diverse natural landscape of the country. Sarzamin-e Maa Iran (Our Homeland Iran), Gozar (Transition), Isfahan, Kurdistan, Tehran, Torkamanha-ye Iran (Iran’s Turkmans), Damavand, Kavirha-ye Iran (Iran’s Deserts), Persepolis, Shomal (The North of Iran), and Jonoob (The South of Iran) are just some of his titles. In 2015, Gozaresh-e Yek Zendegi (Leaves from a Life), a selection of his photographs, was published in celebration of his lifelong legacy.
Author photo by Atieh Noori
ABOUT THE TRANSLATOR
Poupeh Missaghi has a PhD in English and Literary Arts from the University of Denver; an MA in Creative Writing from Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD; and an MA in Translation Studies and a BA in Translation Practice from Azad University, Tehran. Her novel trans(re)lating house one was published by Coffee House Press in 2020, and her translation of Iranian author Nasim Marashi’s I’ll Be Strong for You came out with Astra Publishing House in 2021. Her short pieces of prose and translation have appeared in numerous journals. She is based in Brooklyn, NY, and teaches at Pratt Institute, Brooklyn; City University of New York; and Pacific Northwest College of Art, Portland.
TRANSLATOR PHOTO and FEATURED IMAGE BY Nasrollah Kasraian