Monday, January 6, 2014

Kurdish Photographer Flies High at International Photography Contest

Kurdish Photographer Flies High at International Photography Contest
The subspecies captured on camera by Rahimi is only indigenous to the Bokan region.
TORONTO, Canada—A picture of a rare Great Bustard that is found in Iranian Kurdistan and recognized as the world’s heaviest flying bird has won top prize at the Slovenia Photography Festival for Loghman Rahimi, a photographer from the city of Bokan in Iran’s West Azerbaijan Province.
After camping in wait for several days, Rahimi snapped the award-winning photo of the bird, which is internationally listed as “vulnerable” to extinction.  It is known as “Chirem” in the Kurdish language, and the maximum number remaining in Iran is estimated at 161. The subspecies captured on camera by Rahimi is only indigenous to the Bokan region.
Rahimi’s photo won in the “Between Heaven and Earth” category of the festival for his particular attention to nature and raising awareness to the need for protecting the environment.
In addition to Kurdistan’s landscape, Rahimi photographed Kurdish people, customs and costumes. Examples of his work include Kurdistan’s dances, architecture, harsh winters, hard work and travel.  
He has also photographed Kurdish artists, including the well-known singer, director and screenplay writer, Abbas Kamandi.
“For the last six years I have been taking portrait pictures,” Rahimi explained. “I believe Kurdistan needs to have professional portraits of the cultural figures. This will be a reference for the future generation as well.” 
The image brought to life through Rahimi’s pictures is starkly different from previous photographs the world had seen of Iranian Kurdistan. After the 1979 revolution, Kurdistan was a political minefield and pictures taken there were invariably of Kurds being blindfolded and executed by Iran’s Islamic regime.
“When I started photography, I promised myself to not overlook what happens in my local surroundings,” Rahimi explained.
The world Great Bustard population is estimated at 43,500 to 51,200 individual birds. The heaviest recorded species of the bird weighed in at 21 kilograms, according to the website of the UK-based Great Bustard Group. 

More by Loghman Rahimi



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