During my susceptible youth, as a young student, I crossed swords with the architectural school in Tehran as they taught us about the construction of space. I sought a way to reconcile two radically different conceptions of the visual: the line and the spiral. In the 1970s, a wave of liberty and rebellion swept through the world. I was evolving in an “undisciplined” microcosm because of its creative nature; we were a mix of students from a variety of disciplines: sculpture, painting, photography, theater, architecture, music. Consequently, I had the opportunity of being exposed to different forms of artistic expression and not merely being limited to architectural studies.
The teaching was inspired by that offered by professors steeped in Eastern culture from Italian and French universities. This “double” influence enriched my way of thinking and forged my perceptions. While Western esthetics focuses on the static line, Eastern perception follows the movement of intermingling spirals. The key point is where the spirals meet. My photographic work and my commitment to the teaching of the language of images are about the encounter between the Western line and the Eastern spiral. There lie the two reflections, intermingled and indivisible from my concept of photography.
Azerbaijan, The Elegance of Fire An exhibition by Reza at the Petit Palais
From November 25 to December 7, 2014, against the backdrop of Paris’ Petit Palais, Reza’s vision of Azerbaijan, the fruit of a series of reportages undertaken since 1987, which bring to light the joys and sufferings of an ancestral culture. A series of images placed along the peristyle surrounding the gardens was presented to the public. The exhibition Azerbaijan, the Elegance of Fire commemorates the publication of two books: The Massacre of the Innocents and The Elegance of Fire.
AZERBAIGIAN, ELEGANZA DEL FUOCO – MOSTRA di Reza al Petit Palais
25 novembre al 7 dicembre 2014
Come un fotoreporter e insaziabile esploratore visivo, Reza ha assistito alle gioie e sofferenze, conflitti e momenti di pace dell’umanità in tutto il mondo. Oggi, sullo sfondo del ‘Petit Palais‘ di Parigi, la visione di Reza dell’Azerbaigian, il frutto di una serie di reportage intrapresi dal 1987, che sarà rivelata al pubblico attraverso una serie di immagini disposte lungo il peristilio che circonda i giardini. La mostra Azerbaijan: L’Eleganza del Fuoco, vista da Reza in un popolo con una cultura ancestrale in forte evoluzione che volge verso la modernità. Scene di vita quotidiana, ritratti, sguardi, paesaggi e panorami della città, offrono scorci in questo poco conosciuto angolo del mondo, che si trova nelle montagne del Caucaso, in bilico tra l’Europa e l’Asia. La mostra commemora la pubblicazione di due libri: La Strage degli Innocenti e L’Eleganza del Fuoco.
Cultivons la paix (“Let us Cultivate Peace”) Reza at the Collège des Bernardins, with key actors for international peace
Persuaded that human progress can only lead in the direction of universal peace, convinced that future generations will speak of us as barbarians, savages who used their science in the service of the engines of war, instead of pooling their resources for the common good. Reza has been trying to spread the word ‘peace’ last November 4th along with Father Jean-Jacques Rein and Samuel Grzybowski at the Collège des Bernardins. The evening has been rebroadcast on KTO TV and Radio Notre Dame.
For over twenty years, Edmond Blattchen has welcomed women and men of our times to come exchange their views on the program Noms de Dieux, broadcast on the Belgian station RTBF. Reza spent a great deal of time with him. The warmth of this encounter created a link which led to a program during which the photographer took great pleasure in a “confession” with him.
On October 9th, Reza participated in the opening session of the TEDxWBG conference at the World Bank in Washington. Alongside thinkers and leaders from all fields, he discussed his experience as a photojournalist and expressed his conviction that, in order to end poverty, it is absolutely necessary to ensure peace throughout the world, and that education is the key.
December 2013. In Iraqi Kurdistan, the director Pierre Schoeller, the writer Laurent Gaudé, the comic book illustrator Reinhard Kleist, joined Reza at a Syrian refugee camp, as the result of an original idea from Arte Reportage. They gave carte blanche to sixteen authors in four camps across the world. Reza brought fifteen or so cameras in order to conduct a workshop with youths from the ages of twelve to fifteen years of age, as part of the Reza Visual Academy.
It was the beginning of a five-year project “Exile Voices”, a series of reportages from around the world and a training program created for refugee children to enable them to become the tellers of their own stories. The documentary Oeil pour Oeil (“An Eye for an Eye”) invites us to look beyond the fences of the camp and experience the astonishing encounter with those whose daily existence cannot be ignored.
Rien n’est éternel, sauf les étincelles (“Nothing is eternal, except the sparks”): A collective project to help the Kogi Amerindians
For over thirty years, Reza has crossed the path of those who have had their land destroyed by war and natural catastrophes. Day after day, they perform their daily tasks in silence to restore the cycle of life. These experiences have led him to understand that, whatever the culture, history, or religion, the Earth is intimately linked to the souls of its peoples. That is why he teamed up with the Tchendukua association to sponsor this collective work. Each copy sold enables the purchase of a parcel of land for the Kogi Amerindians in Columbia.
To transmit and testify, these have been the consistent values that have guided Reza’s career, which has culminated in his series of workshops by Reza’s Visual Academy. His recent efforts took him to Reunion Island from October 27 to November 2 where he gave a workshop on the language of images for youths in partnership with the association Autofocus sur Ravine Blanche. As in Librino (Sicily), Toulouse, the Booster Project in France and the Atlas Mountains of Morocco, the workshop introduces youths to the tools of photography to enable them to become tellers of their own stories.
On October 22, Reza was invited by the new social humanist network Horyou to be the keynote speaker at the first international SIGEF conference in Geneva. He returned to the theme of using images to create innovative methods of education, such as those developed by Reza’s Visual Academy, which offer workshops on the use of the language of images for youths the world over.
Reza Deghati (nato 26 luglio, 1952 in Tabriz, Iran) è un fotografo e giornalista iraniano naturalizzato francese.
È conosciuto soprattutto per i suoi lavori con la rivista americana National Geographic. Webistan Aina