IRAN. Yazd. 1956. Offerings in a Zoroastrian chapel.
Chris Boot, a former director of Magnum Photos, wrote the following lines about the great photographer Inge Morath:
“Inge Morath was, above all, a traveller. Her approach to a story was ‘to let it grow’, without any apparent concern for narrative structure, trusting in her experience and interests to shape her work rather than in an editorial formula. She unsentimentally made pictures that were guided by her relationship to a place. These relationships were invariably intimate and long-lasting; she regularly revisited the places she chose to photograph and learned the relevant language… Similarly, her photographs of people are born of intimacy without sentimentality.”
Yes, Morath was a traveler, an observer of lives and places. Many of her travels included Middle East. Here are some of the photos she took around the region in the 50’s and 60’s.
IRAN. Tehran. 1956. In the market. Stalls with old books, gold teeth, samovars, and water pipes.
IRAN. Tehran. 1956. Industrial landscape outside Tehran.
IRAN. 1956. Near Rasht. Kurdish shepherd.
IRAN. 1958. Public bath near the Caspian Sea.
IRAN. Tehran. 1956. Street musician performing.
IRAN. Yazd. 1956. View taken from the Minaret of the Mosque.
IRAN. Isfahan. 1956. Photographer on the sidewalk of the Maidan-i Shah.
IRAQ. 1956. Gypsies dancing in a camp near Catesiphon.
IRAQ. Near Baghdad. 1956. Ruins of the Palace of Ctesiphon.
Refugee camp. 1960.
JORDAN. Palestinian refugees at Muascar Camp near old Jerusalem. 1960
DEIR EL BALAH (The Monastery at the Sea) Camp in Jabalya near Gaza.This is one of the best camp schools for refugee girls.They wear self made uniforms, desks have been made by refugee boys in the carpentry shop. In the background girls are having a sports class, behind the schoolyard, are the mud huts of the camp.
LEBANON. Beirut. 1956. St. Simeon’s beach. People rent small houses at this Mediterranean beach and many inhabitants spend their weekends and lunch hours there.
SYRIA. Palmyra. 1956.
//all photos © Inge Morath/The Inge Morath Foundation/Magnum Photos//
• • •
For more on Inge Morath, visit The Inge Morath Foundation and Magnum Photos.
Previous Time Travel Booths:
70’s and 80’s Sudan by Abbas Habiballa
Palestine, First Intifada
20th Century Syria