Between 2011 and 2013 Abbas traveled across India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Bali, examining the enigmatic beliefs of sub-sects such as Sikhs and Jains, alongside the everyday life of Hindus. Abbas said: “My reading induced in me a certain feeling of goodwill towards Hinduism, this religion of 330 million gods and goddesses who change name, nature and sex, who marry, divorce and ask for alimony, who are strangely familiar to us in their doubts and weaknesses and so are, all in all, very human gods. These gods do not have the loftiness or the arrogance of the monotheistic gods; like us, they are capable of the best and the worst.”

My photography is a reflection, which comes to life in action and leads to meditation. Spontaneity – the suspended moment – intervenes during action, in the viewfinder

© Abbas | Magnum Photos

Abbas was an Iranian 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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