The Golden Age.
Photographer Latif Al Ani has been called “the founding father of Iraqi photography” because of his rare images from the 1950’s to 1970’s. Berlin based publisher, Hatje Cantz has joined forces with Latif to highlight the importance of these photographs.
Latif’s photographed Iraq from the 1950’s to the 1970’s just before the beginning of the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980’s. At this time the country was living in “a period of increased cosmopolitanism and openness”. Latif’s work records the countries culture which featured many clashing themes from ancient desert ruins to new found wealth, which was in full boom due to the Iraq oil industry.
In the 1980’s Iraq’s politics became “increasingly authoritarian atmosphere of the Saddam Hussein regime”. Which made it impossible to photograph in public. Latif lost interest in photography, which makes this series more significant. The book is now available on the Hatje Cantz website.