News Column

French photographer of Revolution reviews history

September 3, 2014

TEHRAN, Sep. 03 (MNA) A French photographer featuring Imam Khomeini (RA) during Revolution of 1979 has reviewed the history of those days.

Michel Setboun, a prominent figure to record the critical times of the Revolution, visits Iran for the second consecutive times to premier a documentary featuring his photography career titled Monsieur Setboun and Those Past Days. He told Mehr News correspondent Fatemeh Hamedi Khah that he had not been a good actor.

Mr. Setboun is in Tehran by the invitation from Rojan Photography Festival, where 79 of his works featuring unique scenes of the Islamic Revolution of 1979 have been collected in a book 79 on September 1 in Iranian Artists Forum. The event also unveiled the documentary in which Mr. Setboun was the major cast.

The event inspired Mehr News to grasp the opportunity to have an interview with Mr. Setboun.

A photo depicts Imam Khomeini (RA) in Alavi Seminary School surrounded by his many followers and fans to which Mr. Setboun qualifies as receiving the best score through attaching point labels among his photographs. "The photo is specific since the imagery of people lionizing their religious leader; as if people have special expectations from him and the visit fulfilled their spiritual needs," says he, "the religious imagery adds to the effect the photo has on the audience."

"Religious symbols now seriously contribute to chances a photo could win awards in festivals; this is a religious element, which would be translated into a historic valuable piece," he adds.

Mr. Setboun says he was first to introduce Imam's photos taken in Paris to Iran. "That time, people did not have a photo of the leader, and when I came to Iran, the Revolutionaries in Tehran's bazaar was keen on buying Imam's photos," Mr. Setboun remembers, "but since I was working for a magazine, I could not sell the photos to these people; finally a solution hit my mind: they could acquire the photo printed in a magazine front page and enlarge the photo, which was legally possible," he narrates, obviously not concealing his joy.

Mr. Setboun believes that he had never mingled his ideological convictions and beliefs in the process of photojournalism. "A photographer may have his own beliefs; he should refrain from intermingle these beliefs whatsoever in the career and thus to spoil his art; on this premise, I would permit the people to use Imam's photos according to their own beliefs and values," he asserts.

Michel Setboun believes that in selecting photos for the book of collection, he sought the opinions of Iranians, since "it was important, for people have expectations from photos selected as the major target audience to see a pictorial narrative of their history; I also observed some sensitivities in the selection process," Setboun closes his review.




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Source: Mehr News Agency (Iran)

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