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.
Newsha Tavakolian (born 1981 in Tehran, Iran). A self-taught photographer, Newsha began working professionally in the Iranian press at the age of 16 at a women’s daily newspaper called Zan. At the age of 18, she was the youngest photographer to cover the 1999 student uprising, which was a turning point for the country’s blossoming reformist movement and for Newsha personally as a photojournalist; a year later she joined the New York based agency Polaris Images. In 2002 she started working internationally, covering the war in Iraq for several months. She has since covered regional conflicts and natural disasters and has made social documentaries in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Yemen, and Kenia. Her work is published in international magazines and newspapers such as Time Magazine, Newsweek, Stern, Le Figaro, Colors, The New York Times, Der Spiegel, Le Monde, NRC Handelsblad and The New York Times Magazine. Her work has been exhibited internationally at such museums as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and Boston’s Museum of Fine Art as well as the Victoria & Albert Museum and the British Museum in London.
2014 Tavakolian was selected as the fifth laureate of the Carmignac Gestion Photojournalism Award. The Carmignac Foundation, France, launched the Photojournalism Award in 2009 with the aim of supporting and promoting investigative photojournalism in areas not in the spotlight yet at the heart of complex geostrategic issues with global repercussions and where human rights and freedom of speech are often violated.