An Iranian fisherman being shaved by his colleague
Born in Urumieh, in the province of West Azerbaijan, Seifollah Samadian belongs to an important group of photographers capturing contemporary life in postwar Iran. In addition to his own work as a photographer and documentary filmmaker, he has served as cinematographer and art director for Abbas Kiarostami, Mahmud Kalari, and Martin Scorsese.
These three photographs by Samadian come from a series focusing on the profound economic, environmental, and social impact of the Iran-Iraq War (1980–88) on rural communities throughout Iran. His starkly composed images of fishermen near the Caspian Sea; a child at a village pottery factory in Shabestar, East Azerbaijan; and children at play in Karaj, a suburb of Tehran, are among the most subtly dynamic images in his body of work. A bleak landscape and oppressive sky frame these seemingly mundane moments and enhance the sense of danger inherent in the simple facts and textures of life.