TODAY.AZ / Arts & Entertainment

Reza Deghati shows human fates through photography

28 July 2022 [11:21] - TODAY.AZ

By Azernews

By Laman Ismayilova

Over the past 40 years, photographer Reza Deghati has captured thousands of powerful images that tell impressive human stories.

The world-famous photographer has always drawn the attention of the world community to the Azerbaijani realities.

He familiarized the international community with the results of Armenian vandalism, destruction, and other atrocities, which he witnessed while traveling across Azerbaijan as a result of the Armenian aggression.

World-famous photographer Reza Deghati turns 70 this year.

The Heydar Aliyev Center has hosted a solemn evening "Witness of the past and future of mankind" to mark the photographer's birthday, Azernews reports.

Many prominent public figures, representatives of culture and science, and heads of diplomatic missions attended the event organized by the Culture Ministry with the support of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation.

Speaking at the event, Culture Minister Anar Karimov stressed the great role of the photojournalist in bringing Azerbaijan's fair position to the attention of the world community and the country's struggle for the liberation of its territories from Armenian occupation.

"Reza Deghati's life and work is a true example of heroism. He brought the profession of a photographer to the highest level of art that promotes true human values. Since Azerbaijan gained independence, Reza Deghati has always been with our country and people, even in the most difficult times, breaking through the information blockade. He told the world the truth about the events, presenting photo proofs about the country's struggle for independence, the occupation of the Azerbaijani lands, the first Karabakh war, and the Khojaly genocide," said Karimov.

"From the first days of the Second Karabakh war, Reza Deghati shared photographs on social networks, which were seen by millions. After the war, Reza Deghati published a video shot in the liberated territories that demonstrated proof of the Armenian vandalism and cultural genocide against Azerbaijan. Lately, Reza Deghati captured the restoration works carried out in Karabakh. The photographer's activities have been demonstrated through numerous exhibitions in Azerbaijan and abroad. The main message of Reza Deghati's activity is peace, humanism, and commemoration, which are the highest human values ??on the way to creation and prosperity," he said.

In their remarks, President of the International Turkic Culture and Heritage Foundation Gunay Afandiyeva; the chairman of the Azerbaijani Union of Artists, People's Artist Farhad Khalilov; journalist of the Azerbaijan Television and Radio Broadcasting Elnar Mammadli; deputy chairman of the Albanian-Udi Christian Religious Community Rafig Danakari; French curator of creative projects and writer Pierre Bongiovanni (video message) named Reza Deghati a philanthropist and humanist, who traveled to more than a hundred countries, where he witnessed many events, covering both human tragedies and the beauties of the planet.

Since 1983, he has created many educational programs around the world. In 2001, the photographer founded a non-profit foundation AINA, aimed at educating children.

In 2022, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev awarded renowned photographer Reza Deghati Dostluq Order.

Reza Deghati expressed his gratitude to the Azerbaijani president for presenting the Dostlug Order, as well as for organizing the evening, which, according to him, is one of the most unforgettable in his life.

During his forty years of activities, Reza Deghati visited many hot spots, capturing the horrors and tragedies of wars, the suffering of people, and the vicissitudes of difficult human destinies. However, he sees himself not as a war photojournalist, but as a person calling on humanity through his photo works that show the consequences of all these tragedies.

"I have spent over forty years surrounded by human suffering. I saw women and children who were victims of conflict, and this pushed me to become a pacifist. For people, who were victims, a person with a photo camera provides the only way to convey their grief to the world. I am still working because all people are interconnected: if some suffer, it cannot but concern others," said Reza Deghati.

The photographer said that his main goal is not only to help people but also to remind those, who live in the satisfaction that they have no right to remain indifferent to other people's tragedies.

"After all, all this can happen to anyone. Everyone is responsible not only for himself and his family but for the entire globe. Therefore, photography for me "is not just an image. Through photography, I try to create bridges between different cultures. The main thing is that we need to start thinking about the future of humanity without wars. And my biggest dream is to see the Karabakh region fully restored and prosperous," he added.

The event was followed by a concert program that featured mugham, folk song, and classical music pieces performed by People's Artist Mansum Ibrahimov, Honored Artist Sahib Pashazade, mugham singer Nisbat Sadrayeva and Ryavan Gachayev, vocalist Ulker Aliyeva, kamancha performer Jeffrey Werbock.

A video highlighting Reza Deghati's life and work was also shown as part of the event.


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