UK photo show documents death, revolution in Iran

Sat Nov 15, 2008 3:06pm EST
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By Catherine Bosley

LONDON (Reuters) - Whether photographing prostitutes in a Tehran brothel or Saddam Hussein's chemical attack against Kurds, Kaveh Golestan wanted to shock viewers "like a slap in the face."

The Iranian's photographs, which have graced the covers of Time magazine and The Economist, are the subject of the show "Recording the Truth in Iran" at the London School of Economics.

Golestan died in 2003 after stepping on a land mine while covering the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.

"His main point was people," Golestan's widow Hengameh told Reuters as she walked along a row of large black and white photographs.

"Nobody can ignore the truth," she said, adding that Golestan wrote that he intended his work to slap the viewer in the face.


Golestan is best known for his photographs of the riots that brought down Iran's Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi in 1979 and ushered in a government based on Islamic law.

Among the pictures on display at the LSE is one of a crowd of young men in suits throwing stones at police. In another, a student with a carnation in his hand scratches his head as he stares at a blood-stained pavement.   Continued...

<p>A group of mullahs are seen congregating near the front-line of the Iran-Iraq war, near the southern Iranian city of Abadan. The picture, shot in 1983, is part of a London exhibition of photographs by Iranian photographer Kaveh Golestan, who died stepping on a landmine while covering the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003. REUTERS/Kaveh Golestan/Handout</p>