Visual Studies of Modern Iran

The study of race and ethnicity should be considered as an overlooked subject in the field of Iranian photography. One of the important themes in this regard which requires special attention is photography of enslaved people in Iran during the Qajar period. Students of the field have not shown any particular interest in photography of the enslaved in general, nor of African slaves in particular. Therefore, photography of Africans enslaved during the last decades of the Qajar period (1860s-1920s) should be considered as a new topic in the field of visual studies of modern Iran. Qajar photographs in which the presence of African slaves (children, women and men) can be observed were mostly taken by Nasser al-Din Shah inside his harem, or in his own studio. The remainder of such photographs were taken by court photographers inside the court, during the king’s travels, or on other occasions and locations but outside the court. This book is the first of its kind to use photographs of the Qajar period to prove the level of ability of the medium to document and simultaneously pathologise the history, culture, story, and maybe struggle of African slave communities in Qajar Iran.

Khosronejad's unique collection provides us with a treasure trove of images focusing on the daily life of Naser al-Din Shah, his wives, concubines, and slaves of both sexes.

Janet Afary

Pedram Khosronejad has provided invaluable new information about the history of photography in Iran during the 19th-century Qajar period. In particular he has carefully researched the photographs taken by Naser al-Din Shah, perhaps the Qajar monarch most fascinated by Western technology. These intimate photographs of his own harem are unique and highly informative, not just for their intrinsic value in a period in which human images were disapproved of, but also for what they reveal about Naser al-Din Shah, his self-image, his household and his court.

William O. Beeman
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Khosronejad's unique collection provides us with a treasure trove of images focusing on the daily life of Naser al-Din Shah, his wives, concubines, and slaves of both sexes.

Janet Afary

Pedram Khosronejad has provided invaluable new information about the history of photography in Iran during the 19th-century Qajar period. In particular he has carefully researched the photographs taken by Naser al-Din Shah, perhaps the Qajar monarch most fascinated by Western technology. These intimate photographs of his own harem are unique and highly informative, not just for their intrinsic value in a period in which human images were disapproved of, but also for what they reveal about Naser al-Din Shah, his self-image, his household and his court.

William O. Beeman
 

Pedram Khosronejad