Describing himself as a “historian of the present”, Abbas dedicated himself to documenting the political and social life of societies in conflict. In a career that spanned six decades, he covered wars and revolutions in Biafra, Bangladesh, Northern Ireland, Vietnam, the Middle East, Chile, Cuba, and South Africa during apartheid. The result of a process described by Abbas as “writing with light”, his images occupy a niche that spans both photojournalism and art. Pictured here, the Yves St Laurent 1985 Haute-Couture Collection is modelled in front of the Géode dome in Parc de la Villette.

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