Hossein Salmanzadeh is an award-winning Iranian photojournalist and documentary film-maker, and has worked as a freelance capacity for a number of Iranian news outlets, print publications and online journals.
In June 2009, however, Salmanzadeh risked his good standing and took photographs of the street protests that broke out following the disputed presidential election in Iran. He filed the photos with Sipa Press despite the fact that the transmission of images of the protests to international news agencies was banned. Asked why he published them – with his real name, Salmanzadeh said: This is what I do, it is my duty to let the public know what I see and what is happening.
Soon afterwards, Salmanzadeh was threatened with prosecution and imprisonment, and he fled Iran for Turkey where he applied for refugee status with the UNHCR. As a refugee he did not have permission to work in Turkey, but he took occasional jobs in order to support himself. When questioned by police or authorities, he would state that he travelled to photograph weddings for his own survival.
During the Gezi Park protests in Turkey, which took place in Ankara in May and June 2013, Salmanzadeh took photographs that were published on Sipa Press and IranWire. Salmanzadeh says:
After few days finally, I decided to cover the protests in Ankara as a photographer. It was a very difficult task to photograph during the protests since I was a refugee in Turkey. If you are a journalist or photojournalist, already you have many problems to cover any political news there. I encountered also these challenges in my country Iran when I took photos during the Iranian green movement in 2009. I start shooting photos 1 June and for a few months. Some my photos were published in the Sipa Press.
The photographs from the Gezi Park Protests are currently on exhibition at Dalarna Museum and Salmanzadeh continues to work as a freelance photographer in Sweden.
Hossein Salmanzadeh started his career as a film critic in Iran for the Cinema Video Magazine and Jame Jam newspaper in 1998. Between 2000 and 2009 he worked in a freelance capacity for a number of Iranian news outlets, print publications and online journals. From 2000-2003 he worked as photo editor for the Iran Daily Newspaper, and was senior photographer for the Ham-Vatan-Salam daily newspaper (2001-2002), Hamshahri daily newspaper (2001-2003), the Cultural Heritage News Agency (2003-2005) and Fars News Agency (2003-2009). In 2005, he was awarded first prize at the Kaveh Golestan Annual Photojournalism Award in Iran.
In March 2014 Salmanzadeh participated in the prestigious NOOR Masterclass in Documentary Photography.
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