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How anonymous photographers documented the Iranian uprising

Perpignan- For the first time, the Visa Pour l’Image photojournalism festival presents an exhibition composed almost exclusively of anonymous images. These are photographic and video testimonies taken by Iranians during the mass protests that have shaken the country since the death of Mahsa Amini in September 2022.

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Marie Sumalla and Ghazal Golshiri, two journalists from the French daily The worldcollected and authenticated thousands of images presented in the exhibition entitled “Uprising in Iran”.

“From September 16, 2022, the day of Mahsa Amini’s death, the reality of what was happening in the streets was visible on social networks,” Sumalla told RFI.

“It was important to think about how we were going to collect these images in order to verify them, publish them and give them to our readers.”

French journalists asked two Iranian experts to help them authenticate and geolocate the images, verify sources and verify dates.

“From then on, videos and photos began to appear on social networks, but with great difficulty,” explains Golshiri.

“In Iran, WhatsApp and Instagram have been blocked since September 2022. Facebook and Twitter have been blocked since 2009, and Telegram since 2019. Iranians therefore need anti-filtering software.”

The Perpignan exhibition documents Amini’s death in a hospital, the street uprisings and the Muslim funeral rite 40 days after his death.

► Visa Pour l’Image takes place in Perpignan from September 2 to 17, 2023. It will also be exhibited at La Villette in Paris from September 16 to 30.


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