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Solmaz Daryani
Photo © Jacob Moscovitch
Solmaz Daryani
Solmaz Daryani

Solmaz Daryani

Country: Iran
Birth: 1989

Solmaz Daryani is an Iranian photographer and photojournalist, based between the UK and Iran. Her work is particularly known for exploring the themes of climate security, climate change, water crisis, human identity and environment. Daryani has worked internationally, covering social and environmental documentary stories in Iran, Afghanistan, Turkey and the United Kingdom. Her work has been published by international magazines and newspapers such as National Geographic Magazine, L'OBS Magazine, Foreign Policy Magazine, Polka Magazine, Zenith Magazine among others.

The Eyes of Earth (THE DEATH OF LAKE URMIA)
"A lake is earth's eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature." Henry David Thoreau

Lake Urmia is located in the northwest of Iran. It was once the biggest salt lake in the Middle East and sixth biggest salt lake on earth situated between two neighboring provinces (East-Azerbaijan and West-Azerbaijan) in Iran. Lake Urmia was home to many birds like ducks, pelicans, and flamingoes.10 years ago; the lake was still a popular destination for vacationers. Bathers immersed themselves in the saline water and smeared their bodies with its legendary black mud, which helped to treat skin disease.

My extended family on my mother's side born and lived in Sharafkhaneh port. The town used to be one of the heavily traveled touristic villages on the north coast of Lake Urmia. My grandfather had built a motel beside the lake, and my uncles were sailors. Less than a decade ago, my grandfather hosted dozens of tourists a day in the summers, with his two sons taking them on boat tours.

During the past 20 years, approximately 80% of this lake dried due to climatic changes, excessive development in the agriculture sector, lack of correct management of water consumption, and excessive dams constructed on the lake's basin river in this area. At the moment, hopes for the salt lake's survival have been revived after 2018 torrential rain has boosted a government program aimed at preserving it before it dries up.

The desiccation is one of the most unfortunate environmental disasters of Iran in recent years. It will increase the frequency of salt storms that sweep across the exposed lakebed, diminishing the productivity of surrounding land and encouraging farmers to move away. More than 4 million people live in two neighboring provinces (East-Azerbaijan and West Azerbaijan) around the lake and agriculture, animal husbandry, and handicraft making play a significant role in the region.

As the lake dried up, agriculture waned which caused my grandparent's garden dry and deserted. Lake's ducks; flamingos and pelicans have vanished, too. My childhood in Sharafkhaneh seems like a long time ago. The motel abandoned, and the almond trees have withered. The port today is a sparsely populated village where most people are old, and it no longer resembles the place where I left my childhood memories.

The project investigates the impacts of drying of Urmia Lake on people and the environment around it and to demonstrate environmental, economic, physical, and social changes that happened after lake shrinking. (the Year 2014-ongoing)
 

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Eugene Richards
United States
1944
Eugene Richards is a noted American documentary photographer. During the 1960s, Richards was a civil rights activist and VISTA volunteer. After receiving a BA in English from Northeastern University, his graduate studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology were supervised by photographer Minor White. Richards' published photographs are mostly intended as a means of raising social awareness, have been characterized as "highly personal" and are both exhibited and published in a series of books. The first book was Few Comforts or Surprises (1973), a depiction of rural poverty in Arkansas; but it was his second book, the self-published Dorchester Days (1978), a "homecoming" to Dorchester, Massachusetts, where Richards had grown up, that won most attention. It is "an angry, bitter book", both political and personal. Gerry Badger writes that "[Richards's] involvement with the people he is photographing is total, and he is one of the best of photojournalists in getting that across, often helped by his own prose". Richards has been a member of Magnum Photos and of VII Photo Agency. He lives in New York.Source: Wikipedia Eugene Richards, photographer, writer, and filmmaker, was born in Dorchester, Massachusetts in 1944. After graduating from Northeastern University with a degree in English, he studied photography with Minor White. In 1968, he joined VISTA, Volunteers in Service to America, a government program established as an arm of the so-called "War on Poverty". Following a year and a half in eastern Arkansas, Richards helped found a social service organization and a community newspaper, Many Voices, which reported on black political action as well as the Ku Klux Klan. Photographs he made during these four years were published in his first monograph, Few Comforts or Surprises: The Arkansas Delta. Upon returning to Dorchester, Richards began to document the changing, racially diverse neighborhood where he was born. After being invited to join Magnum Photos in 1978, he worked increasingly as a freelance magazine photographer, undertaking assignments on such diverse topics as the American family, drug addiction, emergency medicine, pediatric AIDS, aging and death in America. In 1992, he directed and shot Cocaine True, Cocaine Blue, the first of seven short films he would eventually make. Richards has published seventeen books. Exploding Into Life, which chronicles his first wife Dorothea Lynch’s struggle with breast cancer, received Nikon's Book of the Year award. For Below The Line: Living Poor in America, his documentation of urban and rural poverty, Richards received an Infinity Award from the International Center of Photography. The Knife & Gun Club: Scenes from an Emergency Room received an Award of Excellence from the American College of Emergency Physicians. Cocaine True, Cocaine Blue, an extensive reportorial on the effects of hardcore drug usage, received the Kraszna-Krausz Award for Photographic Innovation in Books. That same year, Americans We was the recipient of the International Center of Photography's Infinity Award for Best Photographic Book. In 2005, Pictures of the Year International chose The Fat Baby, an anthology of fifteen photographic essays, Best Book of the year. Richards’s most recent books include The Blue Room, a study of abandoned houses in rural America; War Is Personal, an assessment in words and pictures of the human consequences of the Iraq war; and Red Ball of a Sun Slipping Down, a remembrance of life on the Arkansas Delta.Source: eugenerichards.com
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