FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
CONTACT: Babak Salari
MONTREAL, QUEBEC, April 10, 2011
Photographer Babak Salari has returned to Montreal for the Canadian launch of his new book:
TRAUMAS AND MIRACLES,
PORTRAITS FROM NORTHWESTERN BULGARIA
4438, rue de la Roche, Montréal, Qc
Friday, April 15, 2011, at 7 PM.
David Hopkins, former chairman of the Department of Photography in Dawson College in Montreal, will be introducing Babak Salari’s new book.
Following an impressive opening at the National Art Gallery of Bulgaria in Sofia, the exhibition and book traveled to Il Palmerino in Florence and the Human Sciences Centre in Vienna.This is the first presentation of Babak Salari’s new book to a Canadian audience.
For, when we will no longer exist, nobody will be able to testify on our behalf. There will be nothing left but the indifferent nature. (Roland Barthes, La camera Lucida)
BRIEF HISTORY OF THE PROJECT
The idea of this book was born from discussions between Babak Salari and Diana Ivanova in the village of Bela Rechka in Bulgaria. Motivated by their personal experiences, Babak and Diana considered and contemplated the political changes that followed the collapse of the communist regimes in Eastern Europe in 1989. Bela Rechka recalled for Babak his grand parents’ village in Iran, a home he can no longer return to. While Diana’s return to Bela Rechka was a step towards understanding her roots and appreciate her late mother’s fear of change after the politically turbulent times of 1989. Through these discussions Babak and Diana realized that they needed to know what had happened to these rural communities and their senior citizens in the last 20 years, following the collapse.
In the summer of 2008, Babak and Diana, traveled to nine villages in Northwest Bulgaria where they photographed and interviewed the oldest residents, who nowadays represent the majority of the population in the region. This book is but a small portion of Babak and Diana’s total efforts. They hope that this book will be an advocacy for this people, who struggle in what now is one of the poorest regions of the European Union.
Traumas and Miracles, Portraits from Northwestern Bulgaria
Photography by Babak Salari
Text by Diana Ivanova
Published by Janet 45 print and publishing
For additional information on the opening at MEKIC, please contact the gallery at 514-373-5777, visit www.mekic.ca or contact firstname.lastname@example.org. The gallery is located at 4438, rue de la Roche, Montreal QC. The exhibition is taking place on Friday, Apri 15, 2011, at 7 PM.
Babak Salari is a Montreal-based photographer and educator who chronicles lives at the margins of society. His documentary projects include: Iranian artists in exile; matriarchal, indigenous communities in Mexico; and gays and transvestites in Cuba. Recently, he documented those displaced and brutalized by war in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Palestine and Lebanon. His interest in photography began as a teenager in his native Iran where he contributed to various publications. At the age of twenty-one, his political activities resulted in his imprisonment for six months by the Khomeini regime. Upon his temporary release from jail, he fled to Pakistan and, a year later, arrived in Canada where he resumed his study and practice of photography. His new photo-documentary Traumas and Miracles Portraits from Northwestern Bulgaria, is dealing with the sense of disorientation, loss, pain and isolation.
Babak Salari’s work has been exhibited internationally including: The National Art Gallery in Sofia, Bulgaria, the Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki, Greece, and Centro Historico in Merida, Mexico, and published in several magazines.
His four main publications Faces, Bodies, Personas: Tracing Cuban Stories and Remembering the People of Afghanistan, My Street Cuban Stories, Traumas and Miracles Portraits from Northwestern Bulgaria, were published by Janet 45 in Bulgaria in 2008, 2009, 2010 respectively. He has received many awards including a Gold Addy from the American Ad Federation in 2004 for his work Locating Afghanistan.