‘father of Iraqi photography’ dies aged 89

‘father of Iraqi photography’ dies aged 89

One of Iraq’s most celebrated photographers, Latif Al Ani, has died at the age of 89.

Recognised by several as the “father of Iraqi pictures”, Al Ani was famed for documenting day by day everyday living in Iraq all through the country’s “golden age”.

Al Ani’s grandson, Abdul-Latif Mustafa Abdul-Latif, verified the death to The National.

Four months in the past, Al Ani was identified with cancer of the bone marrow, explained Abdul-Latif. He had acquiring health care procedure at Baghdad Health-related Town clinic, wherever he died on Thursday.

His wife and two sons died years ago, explained Abdul-Latif.

“It is a massive reduction not only for us, but for all Iraqis,” he reported.

Al Ani initially picked up a camera in 1953, initially as a hobby, and the photographer went on to carve out a many years-extended vocation chronicling existence in his native place.

At a time when Iraq was forming into a new republic, Al Ani captured day by day daily life as a internet site of modernity’s contrasts: aged satisfies new, East satisfies West.

Latif Al-Ani, Photographer Latif Al-Ani in the North of Iraq. 
Gelatin silver negative on 
film, 6 x 6 cm. Latif Al-Ani Collection

From 1954 right up until the eve of the Iraq-Iran war in 1980, he chronicled life in the fast modernising Iraqi republic, a period of time now remembered nostalgically by some as a cosmopolitan time when an independent Iraq, fuelled by oil profits, briefly became a spot that appeared to the future with optimism and ambition.

The photographer from Baghdad cemented his art in the cloth of the nation when he established the pictures section at the Ministry of Education and learning in 1960 and afterwards grew to become director of photography at the Iraqi Information Agency.

“It is a significant reduction not only for us, but for all Iraqis,”

Abdul-Latif Mustafa Abdul-Latif, Al Ani’s grandson

In 2015, the Ruya Foundation, an Iraqi cultural basis, staged an exhibition of his pictures for the Iraqi Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, and fascination in his operate picked up internationally.

In 2017, at the Les Rencontres d’Arles, he was chosen as the winner of the Historic Ebook Award from a shortlist of 15.

In 2018, his images came to the UAE. The Sharjah Artwork Basis hosted Al Ani’s premier display because the 1960s, in a retrospective curated by Hoor Al Qasimi.

When in the UAE for the launch of the show, Al Ani alluded to the worth of witnessing heritage, no make any difference the high quality of the photograph.

“The 2nd you capture an impression it can’t be retaken, so it’s crucial to doc. Regardless of no matter whether it is good or not, it’s important to retain it for the foreseeable future generations to see it. It is a background and heritage is important to doc,” he explained.

Sinan Mahmoud in Baghdad contributed to this report.

Up-to-date: November 19th 2021, 1:10 PM