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Isabelle Eshraghi

Franco-Iranian. Born in 1964 in Isfahan, Iran.

In 1996, Isabelle Eshraghi discovered her "fatherland," Iran, a country she had left at age three. During this first trip, she photographed Isfahan's women in order to explore a way of life that could have been her own. This work received the 1997 Kodak Critic's Prize.

Since then, she has done numerous stories related to Iran. "Villa Médicis Hors les murs" acknowledged her in 1999 as the research and creative laureate for her work on Iranian youth. She was again honoured by the research program, FIACRE, for her third and final Iranian story concerning the nation's wise people. Today, she works with the French and international press.


  Travelling : Esfahan, Iran

Portfolio

Portraits

Series

Another side of Iran (2017)

Since the removal of international sanctions against Tehran last year, which marked the Iran return in the world economic system, the country image is being renewed. Encouraged by agreements with several countries such as France, tourism contributes to this change of representation. Despite some strict rules they have to comply with, travelers discover the cultural wealth of the Iranian heritage and a warm and very cultivated population. The French-Iranian photographer Isabelle Eshragi documents and questions this country full of contradictions for more than twenty years to better reveal its complexity. Whatever it be, the Iran opening and the development of international...

Women football in Qatar (2014)

Ranging between the ages of 10 and 23, many Qatari girls enjoy playing football and making friends within their team. Meanwhile men will not attend their matches and images of female players will not be seen on television or in newspapers. Isabelle Eshraghi ventured into the surprising world of the Qatari teenage girls with a talent for the soccer ball. Extract from a text by Katie Breen

On the movie set of « The Past » (2013)

On assignment for the French magazine Télérama "The Past" is Iranian director - Asghar Farhadi - first movie shot in France. It co-stars Iranian actor Ali Mosaffa and French actors Tahar Rahim and Bérénice Béjo, won the Best Actress Award at the 66th annual Cannes Film Festival. Isabelle Eshraghi was on the movie set for this film focusing on the private world of its characters’ feeling and relationships.

Qatar football lovers (2013)

Since the announcement that the 2022 FIFA World Cup will be hosted by Qatar, this state has taken on a dominating role in the economic world of soccer. Regular acquisitions of European first and second league clubs, constructions of the infrastructures for the 2022 Football World Cup, the launch of new TV channels specialized in transmitting European International Footbal cups such as the Ligua, The Première League, etc. Nothing is too big or too beautiful for Qatar. The current Heir to the thrown of Qatar, Prince Tamin bin Hamad Al-Thani is the perfect example: a huge fan of soccer just like Albert, Prince of Monaco; Prince Tamin bought the Paris-Saint-Germain club in 2011. And...

Bal des Débutantes at the Crillon in Paris (2012)

25 carefully selected young girls under 20 are being introduced to society during the Bal des Débutantes that was created in 1957. During one night, they turn into princesses, wearing haute couture dresses and expensive jewellery. All the girls attending this charity evening are invited. The aim of the Bal is to gather funds for a charity organization, this year the Feed Foundation, managed by a former "débutante" of 2000, Lauren Bush, the niece of George Bush. Among the guests : a genuine French royal princess Charlotte de Bourbon de Parme, the niece of the London mayor, Charlotte Dawnay and celebrities' daughters Tallulah Willis and Margaret Mac Dowel.

Saudi Arabia: Women on the move (2011)

An historical decision of King Abdallah will give the vote to women and the right to run for election as from 2015. Since his coronation 5 years ago, small reforms lead to big changes in the Saudi society. Women get more freedoms, a positive evolution now in harmony with the 2011 Arab Spring. New liberties have made a change in the daily life of numerous Saudi women, but the straitjacket of tradition remains strong. Women are still not allowed drive, nor to walk in the street without wearing the traditional black Abaya or having a male family member with them. Isabelle Eshraghi met those women. Doctors, businesswomen, students, artists, their energy and enthusiasm give faith in a slow...

To our Troops (2011)

On July 11th 2011, just before the Bastille Day’s Military Parade on the Champs-Elysées, French Army lost another soldier in Afghanistan. This is the 64th death in this war theatre. The Afghan conflict, as distant as it is, has consequences on the national territory. With those deaths, war is back in the French villages. Isabelle Eshraghi decides to chronicle the honours ceremonies organized by the Army for its soldiers. During military funeral honours’ ceremonies or during religious funerals, the Army is bereaved and goes with the dead bodies on their way back home. The photographer takes also an interest in soldier’s wives and families, real bases for those men going away for long...

Band of Sisters (2011)

Cyril Louasil, 24, is the 58th French soldier killed in Afghanistan. The Marine died in a accidental explosion. Today, 70 French soldiers have died in Afghanistan. "One more!" as Hélène says "means one more is missing !" In Champagné, near Le Mans, I have met once again, the wives of the 2nd marines corps soldiers. Their husbands have left for a mission in Afghanistan, and the wives stand strong together, giving each other support until their husband return. Today, they came to pay a tribute to the latest soldier dead for Afghanistan. At 5pm, they gathered with their banners at the Auvours junction, on the road to Paris. "We should have been far more than that to pay our last...

As an Iranian woman (2009)

Every pictures of this portfolio was made in 21st-century Iran, state where I have been going regularly for 10 years. For this tenth presidential election since the Islamic Revolution of 1979, the women’s participation (as well as the youth one) was decisive. The weight of their vote had permitted, in 1997, the election of Mohammed Khatami. Their abstention had given the victory to Mahmoud Ahmadinedjad in 2005. During the electoral campaign, the women’s mobilisation was reinforced by a new fact: reformer candidates, Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karoubi’ wives have taken a great part in their husband’s campaign, and have not hesitated to take the microphone in public to reclaim more...

Women, out the veil (2008)

For ten years, Isabelle Eshraghi has been working, as a photojournalist, on visual investigations on the situation of women in different Muslim countries: Morocco, Egypt, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Niger. Along the years, she witnessed several changes in those societies, avant-gardist or conservative, and the women fights, their laughter, their hopes, and their despairs. The Westerner vision often reduces their life to the veil, arranged wedding, violence, and terrorism. The urge of the news doesn't give us time to understand the reality of Muslim societies. Because of prejudices and common pictures of Islamic countries, we make women all tarred with...

Christians of Iran (2008)

Since the Islamic revolution of 1979, almost half of the 300 000 Christians of Iran, mostly Armenians, have left the country. The community of Jofa, settled here 400 years ago, remains. The freedoms granted by the Islamic Republic, are enjoyed in a restricted area : without any Muslim friends, in the apartments, the cultural or sports clubs, the 13 churches of the district. In private, the Armenians can drink their wine, not wear the veil.

Niger, state of things (2007)

(in the small town of Keita, ten hours driving from the capital) Niger is the poorest country in the world. Landlocked Sahelian country, twice as big as France, it is considered as a priority in terms of “human development” by the United Nations. With an average of 7,5 children per woman, the population could quadruple by 2050, and go over 50 millions inhabitants. Report in the region of Tahoua, a land of savanna and arid plateaus, crossed by camels, cows, donkeys and sheep. In the small town of Keita, the women have been struggling since 1984 against drought. Whereas the men, discouraged, chose exodus, women decided to stay. Being owners of a piece of land, they committed to plant a...

Pakistan, refuge for women, the Dar ul Aman (2006)

Women find peace in the dar ul aman Escaping the daily violence of their husband or family, the last resort of Pakistani women is to find refuge in the Dar ul Aman, “House of Peace”, and wait for being able to become reintegrated in society. In Pakistan, around 80 % of women suffer physical, sexual or psychological violence during their married or family life. Trying to escape this domestic violence is often synonym of death. A husband, a brother or a step-brother won’t hesitate to dispense justice themselves, convinced to restore the “honor” of the family. The women who were able to leave their husband asked for a divorce but are destitute, and can find protection for a while inside a...

Women of Isfahan 1996-2006 (2006)

I went back to Isfahan to see the women that I had met and photographed ten years before. Through the photographic lens, I wanted to impress the mark of time, to observe their living, to perceive what had changed in Iran through the daily lives of these women. Some new behaviours and new ways of consumption have appeared. But the future is still uncertain.

Bosnia: Portraits of the Srebrenica widows. (2004)

The arrest of the alleged responsible for the Srebrenica massacre, Rodovan Karadzic, reminds us the event which was the worst tragedy of the post second-world-war history in Europe. In 2004, 9 years after the slaughter of 1995, some surviving people were still waiting to recover their relatives’ remains. Isabelle Eshraghi proposed a collection of portraits of Srebrenica widows. This testimony recovers all its sense with the arrest of the one who claimed himself to be the president of the «Serbian Republic of Bosnia».

Iranian holidays on the Caspian sea (2003)

Since 1979 and the islamic revolution, Iranian beaches are splitted in two by boardings, one side for men, the other for the women, who ought to keep their clothes on. In spit of Police, holidaymakers manage to share some forbidden activities like swimming together in the sea or let a part of their unveiled body tan.

Books

Femmes, hors du voile

For ten years, Isabelle Eshraghi made, as a photojournalist, visual investigations on women situation in different Muslim countries: Morocco, Egypt, Kuwait, Saoudian Arabia, Qatar, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Niger.
Along the years, she followed several changing in those societies, avant-gardist or conservative, and the women fights, their laughter, their hopes, and their despairs. The Westerner vision often reduce their life to the veil, arranged wedding, violence, and terrorism. With the news urgency, we don’t have time to understand the reality of Muslim societies. Because of prejudices and common pictures of Islamic countries, we make women all tarred with the same mediatic brush.
Beyond countries’ borders, Laure Adler’s text and the 150 pictures of Isabelle Eshraghi invite us to discover those women within Islam, in their diversity and their likeness.
Text by: Laure Adler

Publisher: Du Chêne (2008)
240 pages
Size: 21 x 27 cm
ISBN :2842779002   

Regards sur le monde : Les visages de la faim

À l'occasion de ses vingt-cinq ans d'existence, Action contre la faim a demandé à cinq femmes photographes de partir en reportage à travers le monde pour illustrer le combat quotidien, et jamais achevé, qui est la raison d'être de l'association. Chacune à sa façon - Isabelle Eshraghi en Afghanistan, Brigitte Grignet au Guatemala, Jane Evelyn Atwood au Malawi, Laurence Leblanc en Somalie et Claudine Doury en Mongolie - nous offre un certain regard sur l'un des multiples visages de la faim dans le monde. La confrontation de ces cinq visions de femmes, témoins et artistes, fait de cet ouvrage le reflet de ce projet exceptionnel, à la fois constat et manifeste ; la beauté des photographies révèle, par contraste, l'urgence dans laquelle vivent ces populations.

Publisher: Acropole Belfond (2004)
223 pages
Size: 28x27,5 cm
ISBN :2735702545   

Avoir 20 ans à Téhéran

Par la photographe Isabelle Eshraghi et la sociologue Azadeh Kian-Thiébaut, avec la complicité de l'écrivain journaliste iranien Seyyed Ebrahim Nabavi, cet ouvrage rend visite à la jeunesse iranienne par-delà les voiles que l'histoire récente a jetés sur elle. Il veut rompre avec la chape qui l'enferme et la masque au regard du monde. Il révèle un univers contrasté, conciliant des valeurs nationales, islamiques et occidentales. » (Chambre noire)
Text by: Azadeh Kian-Tiebaut, Seyyed Ebrahim Nabavi

Publisher: Alternatives (2002)
96 pages
ISBN :2862271942   

Awards


    2001 - FIACRE Grant

    1999 - Villa Médicis Award

    1997 - Kodak of the critical photographic Award

Exhibitions



Back to my roots (Tehran )
From 2017-04-21 to 2017-05-08

In her series Back to my roots, Isabelle Eshraghi starts afresh and appropriates her iranian identity. Indeed, even though she was born in Isfahan from an iranian father and a french mother, she left Iran at her early age, and had only barely memories of her country of origin. She will get back there later, many times to explore her roots. At first, she especially photographied everyday life of womens from Isfahan, asking herself what would have been her life if she had grown up in Iran. The exhibition offers then to follow the thread which twenty years after allows Isabelle Eshraghi to say...

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Women, Out of the Veil (Bonaventure (Québec))
From 2011-08-05 to 2011-09-12

For ten years, Isabelle Eshraghi has been working, as a photojournalist, on visual investigations on the situation of women in different Muslim countries: Morocco, Egypt, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Niger.Along the years, she witnessed several changes in those societies, avant-gardist or conservative, and the women fights, their laughter, their hopes, and their despairs. The Westerner vision often reduces their life to the veil, arranged wedding, violence, and terrorism. The urge of the news doesn't give us time to understand the reality of Muslim...

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Picture Festival of Le Mans (Le Mans)
From 2011-03-12 to 2011-04-03

Entertaining stories and portraits, staged critical and sociological survey, group projects and presenting self-portraits of ordinary women, diverse and unique, so none of them claims to the exemplary. Their interest is quite different.\r\rThe work of photographers (male and female, among them are Isabelle Eshraghi and Denis Dailleux) we in fact refer to matters of images: changing roles of social critic born or traditional models of marketing, disenchantment of the everyday, an assertion of personal identity, demand for equality and the right to be different ... In all cases, they upset the...

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L'émoi de la photo (Anthony)
From 2009-11-13 to 2009-12-13

Isabelle Eshraghi témoigne d’une réalité, celle de la femme en pays musulman. Si le quotidien montré n’est pas toujours facile, il n’y a pas de pathos et l’humour est présent. Elle produit des images fortes et pleines de vitalité. Anne Le Menn

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Women, out of the veil (Dhaka)
From 2009-02-01 to 2009-02-16

For ten years, Isabelle Eshraghi has been working, as a photojournalist, on visual investigations on the situation of women in different Muslim countries: Morocco, Egypt, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Niger.Along the years, she witnessed several changes in those societies, avant-gardist or conservative, and the women fights, their laughter, their hopes, and their despairs. The Westerner vision often reduces their life to the veil, arranged wedding, violence, and terrorism. The urge of the news doesn't give us time to understand the reality of Muslim...

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