Faces of  Saffron by Kayhan

Kayhan is an Edinburgh based conceptual photographer. He uses photography as a way of communicating ideas and as a form of expressing his creativity. His projects are inspired by his personal interests in history, culture, music, literature and the arts. 


“Faces of Saffron” was inspired by the works of August Sander, a German portrait and documentary photographer from the 1920’s, whom is best known for his grand series “Faces of Our Time”.


A cross between typology and documentary work, this project took over two years from start to finish. The photos were taken in late October (during the harvest season) of 2015 in and around villages of Hadji Abaad of Kashmar, Torbat-e-Heydarieh, Shadmehr and Kalat in the North East of Iran, along the route of the ancient Silk Road. 


The most coveted spice in the world has been traded on the Silk Road for over a millennia. This region, which is as large as Germany, produces up to 90% of the world’s saffron. The cultivation of saffron is deeply rooted in this region. To this date the crocus bulbs, unique to each farm, are passed down from one generation to another.


During recent years because of the American and UN sanctions and more broadly the unfavourable political and trade climate, Iranian Saffron has primarily been exported to Spain where it is often mixed with a tiny amount of Spanish saffron and re-labeled as Spanish!

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