Paris: The legendary Iranian-born photographer Abbas, who covered wars and revolutions across the world during a glittering career behind the lens, passes away at the age of 74, on Wednesday in Paris, his Magnum photo agency said.
Abbas, joined Magnum in 1981 and covered conflicts and unrest in Bangladesh, Vietnam, the Middle East, Iran, Chile and Cuba as well as documenting South Africa under apartheid. “He was a godfather for an entire generation of young photographers,” Magnum president Thomas Dworzak said.
“An Iranian transplanted to Paris, he was a citizen of the world who documented without rest wars, disasters, revolutions and uprisings.” Abbas travelled the world to learn about religion, a fascination born out of the Islamic Revolution in his home country, which he covered from 1978 to 1980, before exiling himself for 17 years.
“His book on the Iranian revolution in 1980 was a way of telling this event in detail with a sequence, a narration. He was someone for whom the way of organising images, of sequencing them, counted enormously. Abbas documented Islam around the world from 1987 to 1994, publishing “Allah O Akbar: a journey in militant Islam”, before focusing on Christianity, animism, Buddhism and Hinduism.
“For him, the work of the photographer did not stop at the moment when he pressed the shutter. It continued in the selection of images, the proofreading of the work and in the production of a story”.