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“In 1976, I was commissioned by a publisher to write and photograph an education book on Iran for children. The photographs used were mainly colour and related to the thematic preoccupations of the book. It is only in recent months that I have revisited my black and white negatives.
In 1976, Iran was in the final years of the Mohammad Reza Shah’s regime. This was a Western-oriented secular dictatorship, brought into power by a UK and US backed coup. Areas of cultural freedom were interspersed with brutal repression. Political opposition was quickly suppressed. Shops, businesses or individuals not prominently displaying the Shah’s image, would be closed-down or disappear overnight. Rapid, state-led industrialisation, and a period of land reform had exacerbated social and economic divisions.
Two years later, in 1978, the stirrings of the Iranian Revolution began, with mass strikes and public demonstrations eventually bringing the Shah’s regime to an end. By 1979, the Shah had gone into exile and Ayatollah Khomeini came to power. My book came out, but already belonged to a different historical epoch.”
Published in 2020 by independent press Café Royal. New Copy
Dimensions: 14cm x 20.5cm
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