kadingirra 1 by pouria khojastehpay

“We are the dead. Our only true life is in the future. We shall take part in it as handfuls of dust and splinters of bone. But how far away that future may be, there is no knowing.” 

 George Orwell, 1984

kadingirra 2 by pouria khojastehpay

A future of failed utopic landscapes features in artist Pouria Khojastehpay’s newest photography series, named KADINGIRRA after the Sumerian name for Babylon.

As robed men roam the architectural remains of a city, they watch towering tributes to man’s power – some engulfed in flames and others in a state of incompletion. 

With their backs to the viewer we see neither mirth nor desolation on their faces. We see not if they walk towards or away from this neo-Babylon. Unknowing of whether the landscape is abandoned or still progressing, we cannot know where in the cycle of destruction and creation the city exists. 

kadingirra 3 by pouria khojastehpay

Seeing only a moment of an alternative history, unknowing of before’s and after’s and seeing only the now, the viewer is compelled to ask what the relationship between the robed men and the city may be. 

Perhaps they watch their home destroyed by their own folly. 

Perhaps they have discovered a strange city razed through the force of an outsider. 

Perhaps they recall a thriving metropolis now quietly abandoned by disloyal inhabitants. 

Perhaps they imagine the creation of a new capital, envisioning the swift rising of new symbols of greatness.

kadingirra 6 by pouria khojastehpay


In the series both the city and the robed men are held suspended. Held apart from time and space, held between creation and destruction, they stand as the enigmatic guards of an unknowable future. 

Text by Roya Alma Azadi