Art And Culture

Book on Setboun’s Photos of 1979 Islamic Revolution

Book on Setboun’s Photos  of 1979 Islamic Revolution Book on Setboun’s Photos  of 1979 Islamic Revolution

Scenes from the 1979 Islamic Revolution captured by French photojournalist Michel Setboun are published in a new book by Tehran-based Photographers Association of Sacred Defense and Revolution.

The book titled ‘Days of the Revolution’ has 336 pages, and contains 270 black-and-white photographs that, in a narrative sequence, unfold the events leading to the victory of the revolution.

The book will be unveiled on December 9 at the Iranian Artists Forum located on Iranshahr Street, Tehran, Mehr News Agency reported.

The unveiling is planned to coincide with the opening ceremony of the 5th seminar-cum-photo exhibit ‘10 Days with Iranian Photographers’. An annual event, the upcoming edition is organized in cooperation with Photographers Association of Scared Defense and Revolution, Iranian Society of Still Photographers, Iranian Theater Forum Photographers, Iranian Advertising & Industrial Photographers Association (IRAN AIPA), Cultural Heritage Photographers Association of Iran (CHPSI), Negah Photographers Society and Iran Photographers House.

The 1980-88 Iran-Iran war is generally termed as ‘Sacred Defense’. 

Setboun witnessed many significant events leading to the victory of the 1979 revolution that unseated the Pahlavi dynasty. His photos of the historical event comprise a unique body of documents. 

He was in the midst of rallies and remembers the tension-filled era well. “It was not like being in El Salvador or Afghanistan. It was not a shooting war,” Setboun says. “Not many journalists were killed.”

Managing director of the Photographers Association of Scared Defense and Revolution Seyed Abbas Mirhashemi said: “Setboun came to Iran a few years ago to attend a cultural event. We agreed to publish his photos of the events in a book. About 40 years have passed since the photos were taken, so it took much effort to gather the information required to describe the pictures.”

“Setboun will attend the unveiling ceremony. He will also hold a special meeting with photographers at the seminar, while 33 of his photos will be showcased at the event exhibition,” Mirhashemi added. 

Setboun was on the jury panel of the 2013 Rojane International Photography Festival in Tehran along with a number of eminent Iranian cineastes. 

  War Photographer

Michel Setboun, 64, started as an architect but turned to photography in 1978 as a news and war photographer covering conflicts around the world for SIPA Press, a French photo agency based in Paris.

He covered news events in El Salvador, Afghanistan and Pakistan among others. In the late 1980s, he started working on long-term international stories in Mongolia, Hong Kong, Albania for French Rapho photo agency and US-based Sygma Photo News. 

In 1990 he decided to work as a freelance photographer, again on long term projects. He still produces fine art photography and books and his photos have been published in The New York Times, Geo, Life, and Paris Match, among others. 

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