Ancient Sport of Horseback Archery Sparks Unexpected Bond
A young woman from Finland travels to the mountains of Iran—and back in time—to train with a master archer.
It’s almost hard to believe Brice Portolano’s photographs that look straight out of a medieval era only came about because of social media.
Portolano, a photographer from Paris, first discovered horseback archery when he saw pictures on Facebook that his friend Anna Minkkinen had posted of Iranian world champion Ali Ghoorchian.
Minkkinen, a Finnish student who had been practicing martial arts, sent Ghoorchian a message asking if she could come to Iran and learn more about horseback archery. Ghoorchian said yes, and Portolano tagged along on assignment for a Finnish magazine.
Portolano stayed for 12 days to photograph Minkkinen and Ghoorchian and the intricacies of the ancient sport, which is on UNESCO list of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
“Ali is very, very passionate