Coverbild Latif Al Ani
Latif Al Ani
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Texts by: Morad Montazami
May 2017 , 176 Pages
267mm x 258mm
ISBN: 978-3-7757-4270-2
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| Baghdad in its golden age, photographed by a legend
Latif Al Ani (*1932 in Baghdad) who was the first to capture cosmopolitan life in Iraq in the 1950s to 1970s is known as the “father of Iraqi photography”. His black and white images represent a unique visual memory of the country during its belle époque. Al Ani presented the vivid Iraqi culture in its abundance and complexity: besides documenting the westernized everyday life, the political culture and industry, he also captured images of Iraq from the air for the Iraq Petroleum Company. However, under Saddam Hussein’s oppressive regime he ceased photographing. Today, his photographs give testimony to an era long gone. The exhibition at the Iraq Pavilion during the Venice biennale in 2016 focused on works from the early period of his career, showing both modernising trends and the retention of ancient traditions as themes of Al Ani’s work.
»"In work spanning two decades, the photographer offered a close view of the Iraqi society, beyond the usual cliches. “The most important project I managed to do was preserve my personal archive despite the conditions of the country. The archive at the ministry of culture that I created and built over the years was lost, looted, destroyed in 2003. This is deeply painful. I know how they took it, drawer by drawer, thousands of negatives: journalistic, artistic, daily life, public figures, historical sites, everything. My own archive is a small comfort in the face of this,” mentioned Latif Al Ani in his eponymous monograph, published by Hatje Cantz in 2017."«
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