Iranian customer of a fully-stocked Hyperstar Supermarket in Shiraz [photo: Thomas Cristofoletti]
Jounalist Thomas Cristofoletti has recently published photos from Iran's megamalls and supermakets.
According to Allison Love at CNN on 16DEC14:
"The perception we have (about Iran) is not real," [said Cristofoletti]. "My idea was to try to see with my eyes what is the reality of Iran."
Cristofoletti chose to show this new reality by documenting the increasing presence of Western-style consumerism in a country steeped in tradition. His photos juxtapose typical Iranian markets with modern, brightly lit shopping malls.
"Even if traditional grand bazaars continue to be the favorite places to shop for regular Iranians, they now face competition from huge shopping malls, which were erected in the outskirts of major cities across the country," Cristofoletti said. The malls feature supermarkets, international brands and vibrant video game arcades as a kind of alternative entertainment.
"I was really surprised to see these kind of modern stores and malls," he said. "Shopping has become a near-obsessive ritual for young people."Regular readers of Uskowi on Iran have to be amused by Thomas Cristofoletti's surprise at seeing these huge, fully-stocked magamalls and blatant consumerism evident in Iran today.
For nearly two years we've been posting pictorials detailing the construction and opening of these megamalls and Hyperstar supermarkets, as well as providing photographic evidence of consumerism. Testimonials from recent, frequent travelers to Iran have also been included, from persons like Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett.