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Visual Studies of Modern Iran

Pedram Khosronejad has amassed an incredible collection of major interest to historians of slavery, Africanists, scholars of photography, anthropologists, and others. Uniquely and collectively these affecting portraits of stone-faced, sad-eyed men, women and children tell poignant stories of loss, violent separations, and brutal dislocation. Those are their stories and, as is too often forgotten, also those of their families, who lost them forever. Looking at the vanished world Pedram Khosronejad rescued from oblivion and forces us to confront should also lead us to learn about the resilient contemporary Afro-Iranian community and its place in today’s society.

Dr. Sylviane A. Diouf, Director of the Lapidus Center for the Historical Analysis of Transatlantic Slavery, Schomburg Centre, New York, USA.

This catalogue is one of the first visual representations of the material religion and art objects of Naser al-Din Shah’s court, vis à vis popular Shiite beliefs during the Naseri period (1848-1896). In this work, Pedram Khosronejad has paid special attention to the role of Naser al-Din Shah’s popular Shiite values in shaping attitudes toward the depiction in portraiture of the Prophet Mohammad and Imam Ali.

Khosronejad’s observations further confirm Naser al-Din Shah’s deep-rooted connections to popular Shiite beliefs and related superstitions, along with his interest in Shiite rituals and ceremonies.

Thierry Zarcone, Directeur de recherche, Groupe Sociétés, Religions, Laïcités, CNRS, France.














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

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