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Not currently on display at the V&A

Mothers of Martyrs

Photograph
2006 (photographed)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Newsha Tavakolian is a young Iranian self-taught photographer who has been working as a photojournalist in Iran since the age of 16 and internationally since 2002.

Mothers of Martyrs is a poignant and visually striking series of double portraits in which mothers hold framed portraits of their sons who died in the Iran-Iraq war. They serve to highlight the emotional power of photographic portraiture. Some of the fallen soldiers look remarkably young, and as Tavakolian notes, the mothers 'are getting older, but their boys will always stay the same age'.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Digital c-type print
Brief Description
Photograph, from the series 'Mothers of Martyrs', digital c-type print, by Newsha Tavakolian, Iran, 2006
Physical Description
A colour photograph depicting a woman with headscarf standing against a yellow painted wall holding a gold-framed portrait of a bearded man
Dimensions
  • Paper height: 50cm
  • Paper width: 76cm
  • Framed height: 680mm
  • Framed width: 910mm
  • Framed depth: 40mm
Copy Number
A.P.
Gallery Label
These double portraits attest to photography’s emotive power. Elderly Iranian women face the camera holding framed photographs of their sons who died decades earlier in the Iran–Iraq war (1980–8). One of the soldiers looks remarkably young, and as the artist notes, the mothers age ‘but their boys will always stay the same age’. The women’s hands grasp the frames, showing that photographs can be tangible objects of remembrance. (Marta Weiss)(September 2012)
Credit line
Art Fund Collection of Middle Eastern Photography at the V&A and the British Museum
Subjects depicted
Place Depicted
Summary
Newsha Tavakolian is a young Iranian self-taught photographer who has been working as a photojournalist in Iran since the age of 16 and internationally since 2002.



Mothers of Martyrs is a poignant and visually striking series of double portraits in which mothers hold framed portraits of their sons who died in the Iran-Iraq war. They serve to highlight the emotional power of photographic portraiture. Some of the fallen soldiers look remarkably young, and as Tavakolian notes, the mothers 'are getting older, but their boys will always stay the same age'.
Associated Object
E.358-2010 (Series)
Bibliographic Reference
Light from the Middle East: New Photography
Collection
Accession Number
E.357-2010

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record createdJune 9, 2010
Record URL