Among my first photo assignments when I moved to London from Rome in 2006 were the most popular horse race meetings of the British summer. The Epsom Festival and Royal Ascot turned out to be High Society galas and a rendevous for betting maniacs rather than just straighforward sporting events. Still today all the funny hats amuse me and make me believe that cultural differences can be a powerful source of inspiration.

In all probability I would never wear one of those huge and colourful hats, but nevertheless I wouldn’t judge them immoral or socially corrupting. Then, yesterday, some pictures from a stringer in Tehran really shook me up and gave me goosebumps.

All4pix

‘Morality Police’ detain a man with unacceptable hair and clothing styles during a crackdown on “social corruption” in north Tehran. 

Now that for me is a real culture shock.