Kaveh Golestan (1950-2003) was an important and prolific Iranian documentary photographer and a pioneer of street photography. His photographic practice has hugely informed the work of future generations of Iranian artists but has remained seriously over-looked in Europe. The Citadel presents 45 vintage photographs from the series entitled Prostitute taken between 1975-1977 of women working in the Citadel of Shahr-e No, the red light district of Tehran. The photographs will be exhibited for the first time as a vintage set since 1978. Alongside the photographs, the exhibition will include original diaries of Golestan, newspaper clippings and audio interviews that he collected from and relating to the area.
Besides Shahr-e No, Kaveh Golestan also documented many other major historical events like the conflict in Northern Ireland, the Iranian revolution, The Iran-Iraq War, and the Gulf Wars. In 1979 he was awarded the Robert Capa Gold Medal for “superlative photography requiring exceptional courage and enterprise abroad”. He wasn’t able to pick up the award until thirteen years later, as by then the work was no longer considered a threat to the Iranian government. While he was on an assignment in Iraq, Golestan stepped on a fatal landmine on 2 April 2003. He died in Kifri in Northern Iraq. He was 52 years old. His documentary photographs have mainly been featured in reportages and books and his work has not been exhibited often. The Kunsthal (Rotterdam) showed the exhibition Kaveh Golestan 1950-2003. Recording the Truth in Iran in 2008.