“I emigrated just after my 30th birthday,” reflects New York-based photographer Stacy Mehrfar, who resided in Sydney for eight years. “In Australia, the colour of the flowers, the warm yellow of the sun, the oddly shaped trees were enchanting at first. But as time passed, I felt lost, in limbo.”
Now, Mehrfar is releasing a book about her experience. Titled The Moon Belongs to Everyone and published by GOST, it’s a response to contemporary migrations – the feeling of shifting continents and changing mindsets. It reflects upon the loss of roots, and search for belonging in the wake of immigration.
“As an immigrant, my understanding of place, my sense of personal identity, even the impressions of my memories had shifted,” she explains. “Home became a place between here and there. I began to visually explore this sensation, making photographs in Australia and the United States.”
The featured images capture ambiguous, non-locatable moments from the everyday. A hand grasps bright orange peel, whilst pomegranates crash to the ground. Trees are mirrored in dark pools of water. A figure is caught off-guard, blonde hair glinting in the sunlight. Mehrfar’s still lifes, portraits and nature photographs could have been taken anywhere in the world; their subjects are unknown to each other.
Despite this sense of disconnect, Mehrfar encourages readers to find relationships between her shots. In doing so, we start to break down preconceived ideas of barriers and borders. When viewing these works together, we can locate moments of common ground: familiar people, places and objects. “The publication is an allegory for the in-between,” she notes, “For identity suspended between origin and destination; a space I personally found myself in after leaving my homeland and migrating to a new country.”
The Moon Belongs to Everyone is published March 2021. Find out more here.
1. #040817 from ‘The Moon Belongs to Everyone’, 2014 © Stacy Arezou Mehrfar
2. Memory #21 from ‘The Moon Belongs to Everyone’, 2019 © Stacy Arezou Mehrfar
3. Through the Looking Glass #77 from ‘The Moon Belongs to Everyone’, 2014 © Stacy Arezou Mehrfar
4. A Place in the Sun #222 from ‘The Moon Belongs to Everyone’, 2015 © Stacy Arezou Mehrfar
5. Memory #13 from ‘The Moon Belongs to Everyone’, 2019 © Stacy Arezou Mehrfar
6. #151015 from ‘The Moon Belongs to Everyone’, 2015 © Stacy Arezou Mehrfar
7. Memory #1 from ‘The Moon Belongs to Everyone’, 2014 © Stacy Arezou Mehrfar
Posted on 19 February 2021