The Passing of Magnum Photographer Abbas

The "historian of the present" died yesterday in Paris after a 60 year career in photojournalism.

Yesterday was a heavy day for the world of journalism due to the passing of Magnum photojournalist Abbas, the self-described “historian of the present.” He had a 60 year career that heavily focused on religion all over the globe. “He was a pillar of Magnum, a godfather for a generation of younger photojournalists. He was a citizen of the world he relentlessly documented; its wars, its disasters, its revolutions and upheavals, and its beliefs—all his life.” Magnum president Thomas Dworzak wrote in a tribute.

Abbas was from Iran but spent most of his life in exile in Paris. He published several books throughout the years; Iran Diary 1971-2002; Return to Mexico: Journeys Beyond the Mask(1992), Allah O Akbar: A Journey Through Militant Islam (1994), and In Whose Name?: The Islamic World after 9/11 (2009), Faces of Christianity: A Photographic Journey (2000) and Gods I’ve Seen (2016), a look at Hinduism.

Abbas explained,  “I don’t just make stories about what’s happening. I’m making stories about my way of seeing what’s happening.”

Jerusalem 1995 © Photo A. Abbas. Magnum Photos
Tehran 2001 © Photo A. Abbas. Magnum Photos
Tehran 2001 © Photo A. Abbas. Magnum Photos
Alabama 2003 © Photo A. Abbas. Magnum Photos
Belfast 1972 © Photo A. Abbas. Magnum Photos
Outside Tehran 1997 © Photo A. Abbas. Magnum Photos

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