An interview with Nafise Alavi

“Street’s Feeling” and the loneliest people

July 2, 2022 - 17:30

Despite the wide range of topics in our society, social fiction has not had much of an impact in the last decade, but the excellent book "Street's Feelings" about addiction and homelessness is a notable exception.

* Tell us about the creation of this book.

A festival on addiction called "Street's Feelings" took place in 2018. Through this festival, we hoped to gather outstanding works that reflected on this issue, and we published the selected works in the form of a book called “Street’s Feelings 1.”

We chose to publish "Street Sense 2" in response to reader feedback on the first book. We also came to the conclusion that this book should be mostly on the experiences of those who have recovered. All of these individuals were spoken to and interviewed, and the information presented is true. Because the recorded interviews were often chaotic, I compiled them all into biography and narrative.

* Why is homelessness the central theme of the two books?

Since they live in the lowest social class and are most likely to bring harm to society, homeless persons are at the biggest risk. They are extremely lonely as a result of having been rejected by their family, society, and ultimately by themselves.

There is no one to convey the homeless person's voice to society and the government in order for him or her to be saved or for their wounds to heal. We wanted to use our voice to defend the community's most isolated people.

* Are there statistics that show the number of homeless people in the city?

The most recent numbers I read indicated that Tehran's homeless population is believed to number 70.000, but it appears to be more.

* Which story struck you the most as you were collecting these works?

It's difficult to choose which story was the most impressive, but the one that truly struck me included a recovering homeless woman who gave birth to her child in the deserts outside Karaj and then had the child taken from her a short while after. She spent nine years on the streets. 

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