Tag Archives: Iranian

Newsha Tavakolian: Iranian photojournalist and documentary photographer

Newsha Tavakolian - Iranian photojournalistNewsha Tavakolian (born 1981 in Tehran) is an Iranian photojournalist and documentary photographer. She has worked for Time Magazine, The New York Times, Le Figaro, and National Geographic. She is particularly known for focusing on women’s issues in her work, and has been a member of the Rawiya women’s photography collective, she co-established in 2011. She lives and works in Tehran.

Born and brought up in Tehran, Tavakolian is a self-taught photographer. She began working professionally in the Iranian press at age of 16, at women’s daily newspaper ‘Zan’, after a 6-month photography course. At the age of 18, she was the youngest photographer to cover the 1999 student uprising, using her Minolta with 50mm lens, her photographs were published in several publications.

She got her international break in 2001 at age 21, when she met J.P. Pappis, founder Polaris Images, New York at photography festival in Perpignan, France. Thereafter, she began covering Iran for Polaris Images, in the same year, and started working as a freelancer for The Times in 2004.

In 2002 she started working internationally, covering the war in Iraq for several months. She has since covered regional conflicts, natural disasters and made social documentary stories in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Yemen. Her work is published in international magazines and newspapers such as Time Magazine, Newsweek, Stern, Le Figaro, Colors, The New York Times, Der Spiegel, Le Monde, NRC Handelsblad and The New York Times Magazine.

Countering the predominantly male western dominance on photojurnalism in her region, she brought together a group of six Middle Eastern women photographers, uniting them in the RAWIYAH collective.

A common theme in her work is photo stories of women, friends and neighbours in Iran, evolving role of women in overcoming gender-based restrictions, and contrasts the stereotypes in western media. Her photo projects include Mother of Martyrs (2006), Women in the Axis of Evil (2006), The Day I Became a Woman (2010) and Look (2013), which opened at Thomas Erben Gallery, New York City.

She was part of the 2006 Joop Swart Masterclass organized by World Press Photo. In 2007 she was a finalist for the Inge Morath Award. Her work has been exhibited and collected at institutions such as the British Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and Somerset House, London (April 2014), where she was one of eight Iranian photographers featured in the critically acclaimed “Burnt Generation” exhibition.

In 2012, her first book “The Fifth Pillar” was published by Gilgamesh publishers in London, covering her personal take on the annual Muslim pilgrimage, the Hajj. More recently, Newsha was commissioned by the Qatar Foundation to travel around the world for 3 months taking photographs for a book about education to be published in March 2014. Also in 2014 Newsha was a member of the 2014 World Press Photo competition jury. Her work will be exhibited in Paris in November 2014, where also her new book will be launched. After Paris the work will go on a tour to London, Frankfurt and Milan.

2014 Fifth laureate of the Carmignac Gestion Photojournalism Award.
2009 Magic of Persia Contemporary Art Prize Finalist, United Kingdom
2007 Inge Morath Award, Finalist, Magnum Photo Agency, New York, United States
2006 Joop Swart Masterclass, World Press Photo, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2006 Still Photography Award from the All Roads Film Project, National Geographic, Washington, D.C, USA
2003 Runner-up in Picture of the Year International Competition, Magazine Feature Category, National Press Photographers Association and Missouri School of Journalism, USA

She Who Tells a Story – Women Photographers from Iran and the Arab World, Kristen Gresh with a foreword by Michket Krifa. MFA Publications, 164 pages, 110 color illustrations
2012 Fifth Pillar, Hajj Pilgrimage, by Newsha Tavakolian, Gilgamesh Publishing House
2010 A History of Women’s Photographers, by Naomi Rosenblum, Abbeville Press.
2008 Iranian Photography Now, by Rose Issa, Hatje Cantz Verlag
2009 Transit Tehran: Young Iran and Its Inspirations, by Malu Halasa and Maziar Bahari, Garnet Publishing

Sources: Newsha Tavakolian Photography, Wikipedia | Newsha Tavakolian

Bahram Beyzaie: Iranian film director, playwright and researcher

Bahram BeyzaieBahram Beyzaie was born in Tehran, Iran on Dec 26 1938. He is an Iranian film director, theatre director, screenwriter, playwright, film editor, producer, and researcher.

Beyzaie is part of a generation of filmmakers in the Iranian New Wave, a Persian cinema movement that started in the late 1960s and includes other pioneering directors such as Abbas Kiarostami, Forough Farrokhzad, Sohrab Shahid Sales, and Parviz Kimiavi. The filmmakers share many common techniques including the use of poetic dialog, references to traditional Persian art and culture and allegorical story-telling often dealing with political and philosophical issues.

After beginning Persian literature at Tehran University, Bahram Beyzaie turned to Visual Arts. Here he studied the Book of Kings (Shahname), the Shiite passion plays (Ta’zieh) , the traditional Persian Theatre including the puppet theatre, the pre-Islamic culture and Persian miniature painting. All of this combined with his interest in the far Eastern theatre helped him to develop of a new direction for the Iranian theatre.

Beyzaie’s “Drama in Iran” (Namayesh dar Iran), published in late 1960s is still considered the most important text on the history of Iranian theater. Beyzaie is also the first scholar in Iran to publish books on theater in China and Japan. Some of his plays such as his masterpiece “Marg-e Yazdgerd” (“Death of Yazdgerd”) have been made into films.

In 1964 he published the first of three pieces “Seh Namāyesch-e Arusak” (Three Puppet Plays), where the influence of Pirandello and the Theatre of the Absurd is reflected.

In 1969 he began his film career by directing the short film Amu Sibilou (Uncle Moustache) followed by Safar (The Journey) in 1970. Immediately after, in 1971, he made his first feature film “Ragbar” (“Downpour”) which is regarded by critics to this day as one of the most successful Iranian films ever made. The successful film addresses the late Parviz Fannizadeh as its central character and protagonist. Since then he produced and directed a number of films, including “Bashu, the little Stranger”.

He is known as the most intellectual and conspicuous “author” in Iranian cinema. The main theme of his works is the history and “crisis of identity” which is related to Iranian cultural and mythical symbols and paradigms.

Beyzaie lives and works in Iran, but is spending an academic year at Stanford University as the Bita Daryabari Visiting Professor of Persian Studies.

Selection of works and publications:
– numerous articles on literary and art magazines,
– Theatre in Japan
– Gorob dar Diari Garib (Sunset in a strange Land)
– Chahar Sandoogh (Four Chests)
– Hashtomin Safar-e Sandbad (Sinbad’s Eighth Voyage)
– Ziafat va Miras (1967 – aka Heritage and The Feast)
– Soltan-Mar (1969 – aka The King Snake)
– Dolls
– Story of the hidden Moon
– Seh Namayesh-e Arusak (Three Puppet Plays)
– Marg-e Yazdgerd (1979 – aka Death of Yazdgerd)
– Karname-ye Bandar Bidakhsh (1997 and 1998)
– Banu Aoi (1997 and 1998) (based on The Lady Aoi by Yukio Mishima)
– Shab-e Hezar-o-yekom (2003)
– Afra ya Rooz migozarad (2007 – aka Afra, or the day passes)

Filmography (as a director):
– 1969: Amu Sibilu (short – aka Uncle Moustache)
– 1970: Safar (short – aka The Journey)
– 1971: Ragbār (aka Downpour)
– 1974: Qaribé va Meh (aka The Stranger and the Fog)
– 1976: Kalāq (aka The Crow or The Raven )
– 1979: Charike-ye Tārā (aka Ballad of Tara)
– 1982: Marg-e Yazdgerd (aka Death of Yazdgerd)
– 1986: Bashu, Gharibe-ye Koochak (aka Bashu, the Little Stranger – released 1989)
– 1988: Shayad Vaghti digar (aka Maybe Some Other Time)
– 1992: Mosaferan (aka Travellers)
– 1998: Goft-o-gu ba Bad (short – aka Talking with the Wind)
– 2001: Sagkoshi (aka Killing Mad Dogs)
– 2006: Qāli-ye Sokhangū (The narrative rug)
– 2009: Vaqti hame khābim (When we are all sleeping)

– 1973: Chicago International Film Festival, Moscow International Film Festival: “The Journey”: Silver Hugo, Silver Award
– 1990: Aubervilliers Film Festival: “Bashu, the little stranger” – Best film
– 2001: 19th International Fajr Film Festival: “Killing Mad Dogs” – Screenplay
– 2004: International Istanbul Film Festival: Award for lifetime achievement

Wikipedia (English and German)
Stanford University – Division of Literatures, Cultures and Languages