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Maryam Kazemzadeh, the Iranian Photographer, Passed Away

Author : Negin Shidvash

Reading Time : 2 Minutes

On the morning of May 25, 2022, Maryam Kazemzadeh (b. 1956), who photographed the Iraq war against Iran, died from cancer.  

Maryam Kazemzadeh

Kazemzadeh was the first Iranian woman photographer who was dispatched to the western regions of Iran as a photojournalist by the "Islamic Revolution" Newspaper in 1980. She remained there until October 1980 and was present in most of the clashes happened in Kermanshah and Kordestan. With the onset of war in September 1980, Kazemzadeh accompanied the Red Handkerchiefs group and recorded some prominent memorable photographs of events in Sarpol-e Zahab. Her photographs cover a wide range of subjects related to the war: public preparation for resisting enemy forces, forced migration of the residents of war-stricken regions, distribution of looted arms among city defenders, transferring prisoners of war, commanders present in the region, armored fighting vehicles of ours and enemy's, events happening behind the front line, and coffins ready to transfer the corpses. Later in 1986, Kazemzadeh moved to the southern parts of Khouzestan province and photographed the remaining ruins in cities like Ahvaz, Dezful, Sousangerd, and Shoushtar.  

Kazemzadeh is considered as the first (and maybe the only) Iranian woman war photographer who recorded important images from that period. She also worked as a journalist besides being a photographer. "Who are the Red Handkerchiefs?" is one of the first reports that she wrote during the war.