‘father of Iraqi photography’ dies aged 89

Yoshiko Yap

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

Identified by several as the “father of Iraqi images”, Al Ani was famed for documenting every day everyday living in Iraq during the country’s “golden age”.

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

4 months ago, Al Ani was diagnosed with most cancers of the bone marrow, explained Abdul-Latif. He had acquiring health-related cure at Baghdad Medical Town medical center, where he died on Thursday.

His wife and two sons died yrs in the past, reported Abdul-Latif.

“It is a significant loss not only for us, but for all Iraqis,” he stated.

Al Ani 1st picked up a digicam in 1953, in the beginning as a passion, and the photographer went on to carve out a many years-extensive job chronicling existence in his indigenous country.

At a time when Iraq was forming into a new republic, Al Ani captured day by day everyday living as a web-site of modernity’s contrasts: aged meets new, East meets West.

From 1954 until eventually the eve of the Iraq-Iran war in 1980, he chronicled lifetime in the speedily modernising Iraqi republic, a time period now remembered nostalgically by some as a cosmopolitan time when an impartial Iraq, fuelled by oil revenue, briefly became a area that appeared to the foreseeable future with optimism and ambition.

The photographer from Baghdad cemented his artwork in the material of the country when he started the images department at the Ministry of Education in 1960 and later became director of photography at the Iraqi Information Company.

“It is a massive decline not only for us, but for all Iraqis,”

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

In 2015, the Ruya Basis, an Iraqi cultural basis, staged an exhibition of his images for the Iraqi Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, and interest in his perform picked up internationally.

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

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

When in the UAE for the start of the exhibit, Al Ani alluded to the worth of witnessing record, no issue the good quality of the photograph.

“The next you capture an impression it simply cannot be retaken, so it is significant to doc. Regardless of no matter if it’s fantastic or not, it’s important to keep it for the upcoming generations to see it. It is a heritage and heritage is vital to doc,” he mentioned.

Sinan Mahmoud in Baghdad contributed to this report.

Updated: November 19th 2021, 1:10 PM

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