Description

The Iranian revolution of 1979 marked the advent of a new political era for the country, the ramifications of which were felt across the Muslim world. A popular uprising, driven by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini from exile in France, toppled the US-backed leadership of Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi. In 1978, the late Magnum photographer Abbas arrived in the country; he charted the unrest as it unfolded. Pictured here, armed militants outside the United States Embassy, where diplomats are held hostages in Tehran. 1979.

The choice was to think of oneself either as a photojournalist or an artist. It wasn’t out of humility that I called myself a photojournalist, but arrogance. I thought photojournalism was superior

Abbas
© Abbas | Magnum Photos

Abbas was an Iranian photographer transplanted to Paris. He 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 Iran, Biafra, Bangladesh, Northern Ireland, Vietnam, the Middle East, Chile, Cuba, and South Africa during apartheid. He also documented life in Mexico over several years, and pursued a lifelong interest in religion and its intersection with society.

Most recently before his death, Abbas was working on documenting Judaism around the world. Abbas died in Paris on April 25, 2018. He was 74.

© Abbas | Magnum Photos

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