Art & Photography

Dragnet Tehran

Abbas Kowsari

 


In 2003 the first group of female cadets graduated from Iran’s police academy. Tehran’s police chief Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf—now the mayor of Tehran—had obtained permission from the country’s spiritual leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, to create the all-female police units, and these policewomen were the products of a three-year training program. Abbas Kowsari was allowed to photograph the academy’s graduation ceremony in 2005, a dramatic pageant, and a historical anomaly. “During Qalibaf’s time as police chief,” the photographer said, “policewomen performed many martial arts and chase routines, including climbing walls and jumping out of the windows of moving cars. But after he stepped down, that training was eliminated. Last year’s ceremony was limited to a parade, speeches, target practice, and the loading of revolvers by blindfolded policewomen graduates. No photographers were allowed.”

 




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