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.