This photograph forms part of the Art Fund Collection of Middle Eastern Photography.

This is an Art Fund initiative for the British Museum and V&A and the broad aim is to create a world-class capsule collection of major names and emerging talents in photography from the Middle East (whether living in the region or in diaspora), from 1900 to today. The Art Fund has given the two museums grants over £150,000 for the collection and additional support for the tour of the collection. Jalali was a self-taught photographer from Iran who taught many of the younger generation of photographers. He founded the first museum of photography and edited IranÂ’s first quarterly photographic journal. This photograph is from a series entitled Image of Imaginations. It combines a series of elements: a beautiful woman in the background, a group of pahlavan (wrestlers) in the foreground and traces of the letters Akaskhaneh chehrenama, ‘photography shopÂ’. He is invoking the 19th century photographic studios which were closed down.

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