Mehran Khalili, My Big Geneva

Mehran Khalili is a political consultant based in Greece. And his mission is to reimagine grassroots activism. Specifically, he is trying to answer questions like: which tactics work best to confront power, and why? How can we be more persuasive in the jungle of modern-day discourse?


What do you do?

I’m a consultant, working remotely with political movements, NGOs, and grassroots activists. My mission is to give everyday people the tools to challenge power, so they can fix the world. Or at least, so they can give it a damn good shot!
I’ve got a weekly newsletter for activist citizens called Subvrt, which sets out to do this.
But to relax, I take black and white photos. I publish them as projects. And I’m working towards making a book. I exhibited my work at the Tafkaj Gallery in Geneva a while ago.


Why do you do it?

Photography for me is like meditation. I do it because I have things to say, things that this medium helps me to express. And because I can’t imagine not doing it.
When it comes to my work in politics and activism, I remember seeing a Venn diagram once. It said you should find the sweet spot between what you’re good at, what you can be paid for, and what you love doing. I think my work is pretty close to the center of that diagram. It also makes me feel useful.


The last time you felt good?

Probably last night. I don’t want to get philosophical, but this is a tough time for humans as a species. So many people have lost so much, and many more stand to lose.
And I was lying there thinking about how I feel grateful for what I have now.
No prayer emoji.
Just grateful.