Abbas Attar Photojournalist Niousha Tavakoli at work among TV cameramen. Iran, Tehran
Instead of focussing on single moments in time, Abbas considered his photographs to be interlinked elements of a greater whole. He was a storyteller, and his black-and-white images were tales on celluloid. He sought to “capture a suspended moment,” to give the impression that the subjects continued their action after the device was triggered. One of his photos on view depicts the young Newsha Tavakolian on one of her first photojournalistic assignments. One can sense, that after the single shot, Tavakolian stood her ground to keep making images without being swept away by the crowd.
The photos on view are featured in Abbas’ series and photobook Iran Diary 1971-2002. His book is a critical interpretation of Iranian history, photographed and described in a personal way.
The work of Abbas Attar is part of the group exhibition Space to Breathe, curated by Newsha Tavakolian and on display in the Grote Kerk Breda.
In a career spanning six decades, Abbas Attar (1944-2018) covered wars and revolutions in Biafra, Bangladesh, Northern Ireland, Vietnam, the Middle East, Chile, Cuba, and South Africa during apartheid. One of the most important subjects of his career was the intersection between religions and society. A member of Sipa from 1971 to 1973, then of Gamma from 1974 to 1980, Abbas joined Magnum Photos in 1981 and became a member in 1985. Abbas died in Paris on April 25, 2018, at the age of 74.