45 Years

45 years without myself  | Photo diary for my 45th birthday 2018
” One can’t find the real stories in books or magazines, one finds them in a diary “

I very much like to celebrate my birthday. That I live is a given fact that I cherish. I am not ashamed of getting a year older and I don’t hide it. In my life I have seen many hidden feelings and pains. When I started to create this book I found myself in a heavy burnout and I could not find a way out. I decided to spend a week with my parents in the south of Iran. I could not tell what I felt, but my father said to me: when you are back home in the Netherlands, make a sketch of your life. You are more valuable than you think you are. I had tears in my eyes because of what this man had seen in me. I have nothing to tell for I am nobody, I replied, He said: if it does not work, come home and stay 11 days, no 17 days. Then we finish it together. You are only nobody when you do not make this book which will show your heart and your art.  My mother standing in front of the door hugged me and said: I did not succeed in doing what I had to do, so do not lead your life like I did. I saw her tears rightaway and she went to her room. This book has been created, based on the unforgettable experiences I had on each of my birthdays. I selected the photos from my archive. I have often seen pictures like these from the lives of others. I preserve memories that I never needed a note for to keep them in mind. I learned from my Tai Chi master: you will always remember what is important. Let the rest go. ​In our present world we intend to put so much information in our heads that feeling and focus on people get displaced. It will discomfort you. I feel better now… I simply am an open diary by my images. I did it my way…  and it is not about whether it is good or bad… I do not want to bear a feeling of guilt anymore and I will live on doing it my way. But this time I am part of it. Love the life.​

Mona Alikhah – May 2018 – The Netherlands