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Mehdi Monem | Civilian Victims of Iran-Iraq War

Mehdi Monem, Civilian Victims of Iran-Iraq War. PRIVATE 58, p. 62-63 (62-65)


In September 22nd 1980, Iran-Iraq war started with the bombardment of some Iranian cities. In the beginning, no one could imagine that this war would be one of the longest wars of the history. During 8 years of war, besides harsh battles in fronts, cities and civilized regions were invaded with chemical weapons, in spite of international human right pacts and 1949 Geneva conventions.

I was a photographer who started his work from battle fronts. I have some breathtaking memories from war time. After war, I faced with terrible scenes which I recorded with my camera. Now two decades have passed from the end of war, soldiers have returned to their homes and they are continuing their lives. But lots of people still feel the old soars of war.
For borderline inhabitants, war won’t be finished for long times. Because mines-never sleeping soldiers- are their lifetime neighbors which don’t discriminate between a soldier’s or a child’s leg. They make their victim every day.

These photos are the result of an unpleasant feeling I have in mind against war. I tried my best to transfer this feeling to the people all over the world. The mission of war victims photos is an attempt to have a peaceful world. Because the winner and the loser of the war have the same share. The thing that remains is the missing place of the hands which can’t write and the feet which can’t walk.

Q&A with Mehdi Monem

Photography is…

Photography in my opinion is kind of pictorial conversation which links me to my subjects by photographs and through the camera. My camera allows me to show happiness, pain and suffering of people to the world. In this way, they learn whatever that may be learned, and avoid whatever causing loss, such as war and violence.

Photography and writing…

Writing gives me the opportunity to inform all my audience exactly what was going on. The photography, I think, is not able to convey all its concealed information, alone.

Who left the biggest impression on you?

Mr. Seifollah Samadian has the main role in my photography. Although, he dragged me to the hazardous world of photojournalism from the high-income field of photography, I am now happy to benefit from this media, because it is capable of help the world to be in peace and tranquility. 

Tell us a little about yourself

After thirty five years of photography, in my daily looking at environment through the camera, I find out that there are still a lot of things in photography which I don’t know about them.

Mehdi Monem > Born in 1961 in Rasht (Northen Iran), he is a self-educated photographer. During 25 years after the war he worked on the after-effects of the war on people.

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