For me, the When You Were Dying series tells a story about the death of a beautiful era. About death of a peaceful life, when we didn’t live in a global village, the time when we lived with our own cultures, when life was not as fast as now — a life without electronic social networking, without so many environmental disasters and wars, a life with more peace in mind and the world.

In this series of work, I have used old photographs from a famous Iranian photography studio, Chehrenegar, in the city of Shiraz. The photos were taken in the courtyard of his studio in open air because of the lack of artificial light in those days. 

My photographs are made of three layers: one, the original picture from 70 years ago, which is a dead and forgotten moment; the second layer is often made of dried flowers and fabric belonging to those days; and the third one is a reflection of the current environment, captured in the glass or a mirror. Of course, by creating this new layered picture, the present moment dies too, but in a way that starts another life in a new form.

—Rana Javadi