Loads of people have already written about Azadeh Akhlaghi’s series titled “be revayat yek shahed eyni” or in other words, “By an Eyewitness”. But I want to write about it some more. When art is good, it needs to be revisited.
Neda Agha Soltan, a philosophy student, was shot dead on the street during the riots in Tehran in 2009. Neda’s death was caught on video and broadcasted to the world and it got Azadeh thinking. It then took her four years, loads of volunteers, support from her peers and extensive historical research to produce this pivotal series where she documents the often untimely deaths of individuals who changed the course of Iranian collective history.
Words and text are easily forgotten – even a story can slip through the conscious memory. An image, however, is harder to forget.
Whilst the basis of Azadeh’s work is Iranian history, she pushes the limits of what can be achieved by staged photography, beyond a report on history, culture or politics, back to its human roots. The crying wife, the grief-stricken followers, the untimely unfair death of an individual loved by millions.
In a statement about the series Azadeh wrote: “It is about the depiction of the moment of dying of people who lived decently and passed bitterly, but there is something sacred about their death which has been forgotten or stained.”
Azadeh is represented by Mohsen Gallery in Tehran where the entire series was brought together for a book launch last year.
All above photographs ©Azadeh Akhlaghi – all photographers rights reserved.