Iranian/French, b. 1944

Born a photographer, Abbas, an Iranian transplanted to Paris, has dedicated his work to the political and social coverage of the developing South. Since 1970, his major work, published in world magazines, includes wars and revolutions in Biafra, Bangladesh, Ulster, Vietnam, the Middle East, Chile, Cuba, and South Africa with an essay on apartheid.

From 1978 to 1980, Abbas photographed the revolution in Iran, to which he returned in 1997 after seventeen years of voluntary exile. His book Iran Diary 1971-2002 (Autrement 2002) is a critical interpretation of Iranian history, photographed and written as a personal diary.

From 1983 and 1986 he travels in Mexico, photographing the country as if writing a novel. An exhibition and a book, Return to Mexico: Journeys Beyond the Mask (W.W.Norton 1992), which includes his travel diaries, helpe him define his aesthetics in photography.

From 1987 to 1994, from the Xinjiang to Morocco, he photographs the resurgence of Islam. His book and exhibit Allah O Akbar: A Journey Through Militant Islam (Phaidon 1994) exposes the internal tensions within Muslim societies, torn between a mythical past and a desire for modernisation and democracy.

When the year 2000 becomes a landmark in the universal calendar, Christianity is the symbol of the strength of Western civilization. Faces of Chritianity, a photographic journey (A.Abrams 2000) and a touring exhibit, explores the religion as a political, a ritual and a spiritual phenomenon.

From 2000 to 2002 he works on Animism. His book Sur la route des Esprits 'Delpire 2005) explores the reasons for the come-back of irrational rituals in our world defined by science ans technology.

His book In Whose Name? The Islamic World after 9/11 (Thames and Hudson 2009) is a seven years quest within 16 countries : opposed by governments who hunt them mercilessly, the jihadists lose many battles, but are they not winning the war to control the mind of the people, with the "creeping islamisation" of all Muslim societies?

From 2008 to 2010 Abbas travelled the world of Buddhism, photographing with the same sceptical eye for his book Les Enfants du Lotus, voyage chez les Bouddhistes. In 2011 he started a similar long term project on Hinduism.

A member of Sipa from 1971 to 1973, then of Gamma from 1974 to 1980, Abbas joined Magnum Photos in 1981 and became a member in 1985.


2011       Abbas, 45 Years in Photography - The National Museum of Singapore
2009       In Whose Name? - Magnum Gallery, Paris; Visa, Perignan; Polka Gallery, Paris
2008       The Children of Abraham - RIP, Fez, Morrocco; Le Botanique, Bruxelles, Belgium
2007       The Children of Abraham - Noorderlicht, Groningen, Netherlands; Exposorium Vrije               Universiteit, Amsterdam, Netherlands
2006       The Children of Abraham - Nobel Peace Center, Oslo, Norway
2006       Islams and Shias - Vicino/Lontano, Udine, Italy
2005       Sur la Route des Esprits, La Chambre Claire, France
2004       Iran - Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, Germany
2004       Resurgence of Shias - Visa in Perpignan, France
2004       Ya Saddam - Noorderlicht, Leeuwarden, Netherlands
2004       Islams - The United Nations, New York, USA
2003       Visiones de l'Islam - La Caixa, Girona, Granada, Pamplona and Palma de Mallorca, 
2002       Iran, the Revolution - The Grey Gallery, New York, USA
2002       Viaggio Negli Islam del Mondo - Palazzo Vecchio, Firenze, Italy
2002       Visiones de l'Islam - la Caixa, Tarragona, Madrid, Malaga, Orense, Spain
2002       IranDiary - Visa in Perpignan, France
1999       Islamies - Place Royale, Brussels, Belgium; Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris, France
1999       Chrétiens - House of Photography, Moscow, Russia; Eberhardskirche, Stuttgart, 
1994       Retornos a Mexico - Centro Nacional de la  Fotografia, Mexico
1992       Return to Mexico - Mexico Cultural Center, Paris; Maison pour Tous, Calais, France
1991       Retrospective - Imagina, Almeria, Spain
1986       Votez pour Moi - Galerie Magnum, Paris,  France
1984       Retrospective - Galerie ARPA, Bordeaux,  France
1983       Retrospective - Consejo de Fotografia,  Mexico
1982       Citizen of the Third World – The Photographers' Gallery, London, England; Open Eye 
              Gallery, Liverpool, England
1980       Iran, the Revolution - Museum of Contemporary  Art, Tehran, Iran; Darvazeh Ghar 
              mosque, Tehran, Iran; Fundacao Cultural, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
1977       Retrospective - Galerie Litho, Tehran, Iran 
              Ce jour-là - Galerie FNAC, Paris
1972       Ganvie People - Falomo, Nigeria


2011       Les Enfants du lotus, voyage chez les Bouddhistes, de la Martinière, Paris
2010       Ali, the Fight, Editions Sonatines, Paris
2009       In Whose Name?, Thames and Hudson, London & New York
              Au Nom de Qui?, Editions du Pacifique, Paris
2006       The Children of Abraham, Intervalles, France
2005       Abbas, I Grandi Fotografi di Magnum, Hachette, Italy
2005       IranDiaro: 1971-2005, Saggiatore, Italy
2005       Sur la Route des Esprits, Delpire, France
2002       IranDiary: 1971-2002, Autrement, France
2000       Faces of Christianity: A Photographic Journey, A. Abrams, USA
1994       Allah O Akbar: A Journey Through Militant Islam, Phaidon, UK
              Allah O Akbar - Voyages dans l'Islam militant, Phaidon, France
              Allah O Akbar - Viaggio negli islam del mondo, Contrasto, Italy
1992       Return to Mexico: Journeys Beyond the Mask, W.W. Norton, USA
1986       Retornos a Oapan, FCE, Mexico
1980       Iran: La Revolution Confisquée, Editions Cletrat, France
1977       Zaire Today, Editions Jeune Afrique, France