Biography - Isabelle Eshraghi
Biography

 

Born in Iran, Isfahan, of a french mother and a iranian father.

 

Prize winner in 1997 of the Kodak Critics' Photographic Prize for her photographic work on Women of Isfahan. Prize winner in 1999 for the Program “Villa Médicis Hors les Murs/AFAA” for her photographic work on “Being twenty in Tehran”. Prize winner in 2001 for the Program FIACRE for her photographic work on Iranian men.

 

Distributed by Vu’ Agency in Paris. Work for the media : Le Monde, Libération, La Croix, Télérama, Photo Magazine, DS, Madame Figaro, Le Figaro Magazine, Paris-Match, Géo, L’Equipe Magazine, VSD, Elle, Marie-Claire, Courrier International, The Independent Magazine, The New Yorker, D de la Republica, Io Donna, Die Weltwoche...



 

I was 17 years old when I traveled across the Algerian Desert with an instamatic Kodak camera. It’s in the desert’s immensity that my vocation to become a photographer revealed itself. I was waiting for a Tuareg to come in my field of vision to take a picture, I was already attracted to the human being, not by the landscape (1982). It is only many years later that I compared the picture of the blue man in the Algerian desert with the picture of my father in the Iranian desert. All I knew about him and all I had was this picture.

 

When I was in New-York, I started with my first reflex camera to gaze at the feet of the passers-by (1983). Thanks to the workshop I attended in China from Beijing to Hong-Kong with Guy Le Querrec , my glance became more assertive (1988). Then, I ventured alone in Vietnam, from Saigon to Nha trang to fill up my bag with pictures (1990) and I followed different roads. When my daughter Louise was born (1992), I assigned myself the mission to photograph each day of her first year of life, in the form of a diary from her birth to her first year of age. And the day came, when I decided to discover my native land, which I had left at the age of three. It was in 1996. Since this first trip when I rediscovered my roots, in Isfahan, I subsequently made different separate trips to Iran, always through a photographic lens.

 

I have learnt to enjoy thiscountry and little by little to find my own bearings. I also became attached to these people, and I have felt each time the hopes and the despairs of the men, the women and the young of this country. My photographs have crystallised around this double belonging and are answering a quest   for identity. They interrogate my roots and question the condition of Iranian culture.

 

This shared instant of life, caught from the inside, on the land of my origins, contrast surely with the cliché exposed by the media. For me, they are moments of intimacy, remembrances in the form of pictures that had been erased from my memory and that I rebuilt all along these past years.

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