Newsha Tavakolian: Blank Pages of an Iranian Photo Album


Renowned Iranian photographer Newsha Tavakolian mixes artistic creation and journalism, starting from the traditional Iranian family photo album to deftly chronicle middle class life by following Iranians from several generations with her camera. She does not shy away from the complexity, inaccessibility, and myriad contradictions that shape her homeland. She manages to capture the full picture of contemporary Iran.

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“The family photo album is the showcase for my generation. The yellowed albums and the pictures of smiling children dressed up in their best clothes are testament to our hopes and dreams, but they end in blank pages, and the moment when our parents stopped taking our pictures […]
For me, Iran is the country where I was born. I went to school here, started my career, and never left. As a photographer I have always struggled with how to perceive my society, with all its complexi- ties and misunderstandings. For this project, I have decided to continue the photo albums of my generation. To add the pictures that were never taken of the way that life is for them now, grown- up. I followed nine people who in a sense define this generation. They are interchangeable, thus representing many. This photo al- bum is theirs; it is my vision of life in Iran now, unromantic and confined. Those who feature on the pages are interchangeable, placed randomly in the natural installation of what is and can be their daily lives.
I began by collecting some childhood snapshots from their own family albums. After that I took a series of pictures that show their lives today, like reportage. They are not necessarily present in these images, but the pictures illustrate the way they live in the four corners of the megalopolis that is Tehran.
I have brought them to a mountain overlooking Tehran, Iran’s capital […] In this messiness I have asked them to find their own space, even though it may not be much bigger than their own two feet. Contrary to all the other images, these nine portraits are staged.
Now, what matters to me is that this work communicates the feelings some have here in Iran. These images will not change anything, nor will they help anybody. What I hope is that they vi- sualize a generation marginalized by those speaking in their name.”

Newsha Tavakolian

Additional information


Blank Pages of an Iranian Photo Album


Newsha Tavakolian


Newsha Tavakolian / Anahita Ghabaian


Kehrer Design


Kehrer Verlag






Linen in a half slipcase


24 x 30 cm


160 p.


90 colour illustrations


English / French


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