In Conversation: Photo London: Newsha Tavakolian
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18 May 2017, 19:00
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Blank Pages 7 by Newsha Tavakolian. © Newsha Tavakolian
A self-taught photographer based in Tehran, Newsha Tavakolian began working professionally in the Iranian press at age of 16, at the women's daily newspaper Zan. At the age of 18, she was the youngest photographer to cover the 1999 student uprising. In 2002 she started working internationally, covering the war in Iraq. She has since covered regional conflicts, natural disasters and created social documentary projects. In 2009 Tavakolian covered the Presidential elections in Iran, which ended up in chaos and forced her to temporarily halt her photojournalistic work. Instead she started working on projects that experts describe as a mix of social documentary photography and art. Her work ranges from bold reportage of political events to sensitive portraits and evocative series on socially-engaged topics including issues of middle-class youth, female Kurdish fighters or the impact of sanctions on individual lives. Her work has been published in international magazines and newspapers, including Time Magazine, Newsweek, Stern, Le Figaro, Colors, The New York Times, Der Spiegel, Le Monde, NRC Handelsblad, The New York Times Magazine and National Geographic. Her work has been widely exhibited at international institutions, including Victoria & Albert Museum, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), British Museum and Boston Museum of Fine Art. In 2014 Tavakolian was the fifth laureate of the Carmignac Gestion Photojournalism Award. In 2015 she was the principle laureate of the Prince Claus Award. Tavakolian became a Magnum nominee in 2015.
Vali Mahlouji is a London-based curator and independent advisor to the British Museum. Mahlouji’s recent work includes exhibitions at Foam Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, MAXXI Museo nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo, Whitechapel Gallery, Photo London, Prince Claus Fonds, Singapore International Festival of Arts, Art Dubai Modern, Bergen Triennial and Open Eye Gallery. Mahlouji is founder of the curatorial think tank Archaeology of the Final Decade, a non-profit organisation, which researches histories of nations condemned by social displacement, cultural annihilation or deliberate disappearance. AOTFD engages with accounts of culture, which have been lost through material destruction, acts of censorship, political, economic or human contingencies. The research identifies, investigates and re-circulates significant cultural and artistic materials that have remained obscure, under-exposed, endangered, banned or in some instances destroyed. AOTFD materials have been acquired by Tate Modern, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Smithsonian Institute and Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). Tate Modern will be exhibiting Mahlouji’s project Recreating the Citadel in July 2017. Upcoming projects include collaboration with the Fiorucci Art Trust for the Dhaka Arts Summit in 2018. A Utopian Stage curated by Mahlouji at Whitechapel Gallery received a nomination by the Global Fine Arts Awards for best exhibition 2015. Mahlouji has been published by Neue Nationalgalerie (Berlin), National Museum of Contemporary Art (Athens),) Photo London, Encyclopædia Iranica, Columbia University, Asia Society Museum New York, The Abraaj Group Art Prize (Dubai), Darat al Funun (Amman); and Sharjah Biennial, City University New York (CUNY) among many other institutions and media. His new titles Prostitute 1975-77 and Perspectives on the Festival of Arts, Shiraz-Persepolis are due in 2017.
In partnership with Photo London.