The New Newsha Tavakolian

© Newsha Tavakolian
 As one of the main go-to photographers for international media, Newsha Tavakolian's work is pretty well known outside her home base of Iran.

After five years spent taking photos for regional newspapers, Tavakolian began shooting for publications such as Time, National Geographic, Stern, Der Spiegel,  Le Monde, Newsweek, and other high profile titles.

Until recently, Tavakolian has primarily concentrated on being a documentary photographer. However, with her new body of work, titled Listen, Tavakolian steps away from reportage and into the realm of exhibition photography. The Listen project is photography where the subject and the message are dictated by the photographer rather than the assignment.

Listen is a series about female singers in Iran. Since in Iran, female singers can't actually sing solo or  record CD's, the images taken are portraits of singers without any voices. Part of this series includes video of six singers also singing silently.

As 'gifts' for each of the singers, Tavakolian made CD covers which are also part of the series. At the exhibition opening, CD's were given out with covers photographed based on what each singer would sing about if she could make an album. The CD's given out contained no music to highlight what people are missing out on in Iran.

As she tells GMEP,  "I always wanted to be a singer, that's why i did this project. I started two years ago. I always wanted to have my first solo exhibition when I was 30 years old, so my opening was the same day as I turned 30."
© Newsha Tavakolian

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