Mehrdad Vahed Yousefabad

IRAN. Mehrdad Vahed Yousefabad’s series “HOPE IN THE RAIN” has been selected as one of the finalist in the 2023 Eyeshot Open Call series category.

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Mehrdad Vahed Yousefabad

“Hope In the Rain”

For three decades, long-term drought, exacerbated by global warming and climate change, has put numerous rivers and lakes in Iran at risk. Once the sixth-largest saltwater lake in the world and the largest in the Middle East, Urmia Lake faced the brink of desiccation.

Contributing to this decline are human activities like dam constructions, illegal deep-water well drilling in the catchment area, and a 15-kilometer bridge spanning the lake, coupled with insufficient water resource management.

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From Rejuvenation to Relapse: An Ecosystem on the Edge

In a turn of fate, the torrential rains of 2019—described as Iran’s heaviest in half a century—replenished the lake to 53% of its capacity. This resurgence ignited hopes of averting an environmental calamity.

Yet, in the subsequent years of 2022 and 2023, water inflow dwindled, reducing the 2019 water levels by half. Now, the looming risk of total desiccation and ensuing salt storms threatens both the ecosystem and surrounding communities.

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Open Call Eyeshot 2023

Eyeshot Magazine #11 | Open Call 23 Edition

The 11th issue of Eyeshot Magazine is an eco-sustainable, limited edition work of art, printed in Italy on premium paper. Our dedicated team of 4 invested 3,000 hours to successfully conclude the 2023 Open Call. This year’s theme, “The Human Being,” explores diverse human experiences through photography. With an impressive 15,000 submissions from over 100 countries, the issue showcases a global perspective on street and documentary photography.

Mehrdad Vahed Yousefabad

The Photographer

Born in 1991 in Tabriz, Iran, Mehrdad Vahed Yousefabad embarked on a journey into photography in 2015.

After earning an MSc in Mechatronics from IAUT, the focus shifted to long-term projects centered on urban life and environmental transformations.

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Open Call 23

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Series Category

Eyeshot Open Call 2023: A Global Stage for Emerging and Established Photographers

The road to this moment has been a compelling journey of dedication and effort. Our tight-knit, passionate team of four has poured over 3,000 hours into realizing Eyeshot Open Call 2023, laboring tirelessly seven days a week. This year’s theme, “The Human Being,” has offered us a lens to explore the complexity and diversity of human experiences. From the dynamic pulse of cityscapes to the serene moments in rural life; from unguarded moments to intricate human narratives, the competition has received an astonishing 15,000 entries from more than 100 countries. The resulting body of work has been nothing short of a testament to the depth of creativity and passion that exists in the world of photography.

Guiding us through the meticulous selection process was a panel of highly-regarded jurors, a constellation of experts and luminaries in the field: Trent Parke, F. Dilek Yurdakul, Mark Abramson, Isadora Kosofsky, Laylah Amatullah Barrayn, Kitra Cahana, Richard Koci Hernandez, Narelle Autio, Emin Özmen, and our very own Marco Savarese, the visionary behind Eyeshot.