Afraz and Erfan live in the city of Rasht in the province of Gilan, in the north of Iran. Before they met, each had been playing music on his own. Then, in 2016, a mutual friend introduced them to each other. Considering that both were musicians, their friendship soon flourished, and forming a strong bond, they decided to create a band and give street performances to earn a wage.
Since the coronavirus outbreak, these two have been in quarantine as many other Iranians have, and as a result, they now face financial hardship. A few weeks into the pandemic, they decided to start performing again as their funds and savings drained out. They had no choice but to risk their lives and go to the streets to make money. Playing instruments while following safety protocols is exceedingly difficult. Even though having fewer people on the street minimizes their risk of infection, the musicians’ daily earnings have been gutted.
Photo Credit: Ali Sooteh / NVP Images
– (2020 Grant recipients of Pulitzer Center)