Akbar Nazemi: Unsent Dispatches From The Iranian Revolution, 1978 – 1979

Curated by: Pantea Haghighi and Bill Jeffries

Akbar Nazemi was a young photographer who came back home from studying photography in Dusseldorf when the Iranian Revolution began in June 1978. This is the first gallery exhibition of what are arguably the best photographs of that watershed moment that has continued to have a powerful global impact to this day. Questions about the value of ‘culture’ and more specifically, the value of ‘art’ abound, even during a revolution. What is contemporary art in the revolutionary context? Of what value is art for the sake of art when one’s society is either crumbling or being transformed? Akbar Nazemi’s photographs of the Iranian Revolution were made at substantial personal risk. He was an active participant, making images during the day and processing film or distributing communications by night. The images document the reaction to twenty-five years of rule by The Shah of Iran, as well as the first mass demonstration of the rise of militant Islam. The negatives were smuggled out of Tehran in the 1980s.

PHG gratefully acknowledges the financial support of this exhibition and its catalogue from Dr. Mehdi Meshgini, Archibald Clarke & Defieux Insurance Services and Opus Framing & Art Supplies.

Exhibition Brochure
Gallery Press Release
Events

Saturday March 5 at 4 pm
Discussion with the artist and the curators.

PHG Publication with texts by Pantea Haghighi, Asef Bayat, Nikki R. Keddie, Akbar Nazemi and Bill Jeffries.

Touring Exhibition

Kenderdine Art Gallery, Saskatoon, SK - Nov 4 - Jan 6, 2006
Art Gallery of Windsor, Windsor, ON - Aug 6 - Oct 16, 2005

Unsent Dispatches exhibition publication
Unsent Dispatches exhibition publication
Akbar Nazemi, From the series: Unsent Dispatches from the Iranian Revolution, 1978 - 1979
Akbar Nazemi, From the series: Unsent Dispatches from the Iranian Revolution, 1978 - 1979
Gallery Invitation - back ( Image: Revolutionaries looting liquor stores and smashing bottles on the street. Oct 1978.
Gallery Invitation - back ( Image: Revolutionaries looting liquor stores and smashing bottles on the street. Oct 1978.
Gallery Invitation - front ( Image: Pro-revolutionaries at a demonstration celebrating Ayatollah Taleghani's release, June-July 1978.
Gallery Invitation - front ( Image: Pro-revolutionaries at a demonstration celebrating Ayatollah Taleghani's release, June-July 1978.
Unsent Dispatches, Gallery Invitation - inside
Gallery Invitation - inside
Woman with flyers, Autumn 1978.
Woman with flyers, Autumn 1978.
Shah's photographs being burnt for the first time. Autumn 1979.
Shah's photographs being burnt for the first time. Autumn 1979.
Ayatollah Khomeini's First public address upon his arrival at Mehrabad Airport. February 1, 1979.
Ayatollah Khomeini's First public address upon his arrival at Mehrabad Airport. February 1, 1979.
Newspaper Seller Displaying Headline, "Shah Left". January 16, 1979.
Newspaper Seller Displaying Headline, "Shah Left". January 16, 1979.
Demonstration by Communist Party Members. Autumn 1978.
Demonstration by Communist Party Members. Autumn 1978.

Akbar Nazemi: Unsent Dispatches From The Iranian Revolution, 1978-1979

Akbar Nazemi's extraordinary colour photographs of the streets of Tehran during the period of the Iranian revolution. Nazemi was a young photographer studying in Dusseldorf when the Iranian Revolution began in June 1978. He returned to Tehran immediately and spent the next eight months recording the daily street scene during those extraordinary times. Nazemi’s photographs of that watershed moment document an event that continues to have a powerful global impact to this day.
The photographs were exhibited from March 5 to April 17, 2005 at Presentation House Gallery, then toured to the Art Gallery of Windsor and the Kenderdine Art Gallery in Saskatoon.

Texts by Asef Bayat, Pantea Haghighi, Nikki R. Keddie, Akbar Nazemi, and Bill Jeffries.

Catalogue Design: Sandra Hanson Design. Printer: Benwell Atkins.

BUY THIS BOOK

Connections, meanings, and challenges.

What was your experience with this exhibition?

Experience The Polygon in the best way possible.

Members are among those who are closest to The Polygon’s work in the community and beyond. By contributing to a strong foundation of support, Members enjoy exclusive front-of-the-line privileges while helping to provide artists with a platform for their work, facilitate lifelong learning opportunities, and so much more.

BECOME A MEMBER

facebook twitter instagram

Download on the App Store

Get it on Google Play

The Polygon Gallery continues the forty-year reputation of Presentation House Gallery in engaging the public with the most visionary artists of our time. A new waterfront landmark on Vancouver's North Shore, The Polygon offers a one-of-a-kind space to encounter contemporary visual art with a focus on photography.

Admission always by donation, courtesy of Slice 1