DEVASTATING FLOODS
Lens Magazine|August 2020
AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH AHMAD KHATIRI
JOSÉ JEULAND

AHMAD KHATIRI, Born in 1978, in Kordkoy, Golestan, IRAN. A member of the International Federation of Photographic World (Fiap) & ARTIST FIAP (A.F.I.A.P.)

KHATIRI received his B.A. in Graphic Design (Visual Communication) and in his early years, he graduated in photography and film making from Iran Youth Cinema Association. He became a Lecturer at Azad University, Tehran, and he is also the Founder and CEO of the Center for Communications advertising.

KHATIRI has received a certification of photojournalism photography from World Press Photo of the Netherlands and a certification of Documentary Film making from wasting Woods Mumbai University India.

In this Interview we focus on two series; the Devastating Floods features the 2006 floods in Golestan province, in the north of Iran, that brought great pain and sorrow, and the Fishermen series, which focus on the Pareh fishermen in the Golestan province in the north of Iran.

José Jeuland: Hello Ahmad, Can you tell our readers your background? How did you start photography, and when?

Ahmad Khatiri: Thank you José, It's a pleasure having this interview. In 1988 and 1989, when I was 11 and 12 years old, my interest in photography started. Back then, my older brother, Mohammed, was learning photography and photographing, and that inspired me to start photography. At about the same time in 1990 in school, one of my best teachers, Mr. Zabihi, made me more enthusiastic about art, so I decided to go to the school of art. In 1992 when I was studying at the school of art, I enrolled in a one-year course in photography and filmmaking at the Iranian Young Cinema Society.

That's when my professional life of photography began. In the Cinema Society, I met two of my best teachers, Masoud Emami and Hossein-Ali Qurbani Afkhami, who, during these years, became my best friends. Seifollah Samadian was another valuable teacher who made me even more eager for photography. He was working as a photographer behind the scenes of The Clouds and The Sun movie (directed by Mahmud Calari) about 20 years ago. One night while the production staff was resting, at the hotel lobby, he looked at some of the photography series I'd made, which made him unbelievably excited and joyful. Don't give up photographing son, even if you won't have money to buy food. Borrow money if you must, but never give up... I believe one day, you will make it... He said.

J. J.: You are the director and owner of the Center of communications and advertising. Your professional activity is mainly about communication and advertising? Do you consider yourself more a graphic designer or a photographer? Or are you both?

H. K.: I'm educated in both graphics and photography, and I feel so happy about that. Photography gives me points of view which are useful in graphics and advertising and vice versa. Moreover, my office is also a communication and advertising Agency. As a person with 25 years of experience in communication and advertising, I always introduce myself as a photographer and graphic designer who's also a consult and performer in branding, advertising, and communication.

J. J.: Before going through your photography series in the Magazine - How is the photography business in Iran, and do you do corporate and commercial photography?

H. K.: Professional photography is of high value in Iran. It has offered Iranian and Eastern professionals high-quality sights and has introduced significant national and international individuals to the world. However, there are some obvious cases of unsupportiveness, materially, and spiritually.

In the early days of my agency, I did corporate and even commercial photography; however, I'm more concentrated on and passionate about social documenting photography, although I do corporate and commercial for essential customers.

J. J.: Culturally, in Iran, people have an interest in photography? Are there plenty lot of photographers?

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