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Abbas (Iran/France)
Abbas, From the series YA SADDAM

The phrase YA SADDAM is part of the slogan 'With my blood, with my soul I follow you, O Saddam!' With his series of photographs under this title Abbas reveals the tragic dialogue between a brutal dictator and his subjects. Saddam Hussein bombarded his people with self-portraits in order to prompt them to veneration and submission. After his fall the images were used by that same people in order to express the hate and rage that had built up through the years of oppression: the photographs were ripped from the wall, murals smeared, and statues decapitated.

With YA SADDAM the Iranian photographer Abbas (b. 1944), a member of the photo agency Magnum since 1981, continues to follow his established themes - political violence, religious fanaticism and mass ideologies. In previous reportage he covered the war in Vietnam, apartheid in South Africa and the Islamic revolution in Iran.

Courtesy Magnum Photos (France)