By Laman Ismayilova
Reza Deghati's exhibition "History of Photos" has opened in Baku.
The open-air exhibition took place near Heydar Aliyev Center. The exhibition displays over 100 works by the famous photographer.
During the event, the world-famous photographer shared the history behind his photos and answered numerous questions from the public and journalists, Azertag reported.
Famous photographer Reza Deghati has been traveling across the world for over 40 years.
Reza Deghati for the first time visited Azerbaijan in 1987. In 1997, he lived in Azerbaijan for several months and traveled across the country capturing the ordinary people in their everyday life, customs and traditions of various people.
The photographer also covered the Karabakh war and the events of January 1990, met with refugees and internally displaced persons.
"I have been bringing the Karabakh issue to the attention of the international community for 30 years. In France, the Armenian diaspora even tried to disrupt my exhibition. I came across a similar issue in Afghanistan, Rwanda, Sarajevo. If someone disagrees with me, I show my photographs as facts," said Deghati.
The photographer hailed tolerance in Azerbaijan. He also spoke about the events of January 20, 1990.
"In Soviet times, the Russian Orthodox Church was closed, it was used as a warehouse and a sports hall. During the events of January 20, 1990, Soviet missiles caused serious damage to the church. In 2000, Azerbaijani businessman Aydin Gurbanov restored the church at his own expense. This is one of the examples showing the tolerance of Azerbaijanis," said the photographer.
Speaking about the photographs captured in Shusha during the first Karabakh war, Reza Deghati said that he had to overcame a long and difficult road through the mountains to reach the city.
"I reached the city of Shusha. During the blockade, artillery fire destroyed most of the city, therefore Azerbaijani fighters used a school in Shusha as housing. Then our brave fighters experienced difficulties due to lack of supplies. On May 8, 1992, the Armenian armed forces captured the city. Twenty eight years later, Azerbaijani soldiers crossed the most dangerous and difficult mountain roads and liberated Shusha on November 8, 2020. When I returned, I witnessed the houses, mosques, museums, historical monuments, schools, and cemeteries destroyed by the Armenian side", said Deghati.
Notably, the exhibition "History of Photos" is not the first project presented by the photographer in Azerbaijan.
In June, the Maksud Ibrahimbayov Center displayed photographs taken by Reza Deghati.
The event was organized as part of the international contemporary art project Peace be upon you - Salam Aleykum.
In February, the world-famous photographer drew public attention to video taken during Black January and Khojaly genocide that befell the Azerbaijani people in the 90s.
The event took place at the Heydar Aliyev Center where the photographer shared his impressions of the Second Karabakh War and his visits to the liberated territories.
He provided insight into the results of Armenian vandalism, destruction, and other atrocities, which he witnessed in Azerbaijan as a result of Armenian aggression.
Degati also showed his photographs taken during those bloody events.
His other solo exhibition solemnly opened near Heydar Aliyev Center last June.
The exhibition included Reza Deghati's photographs, reflecting different periods in Azerbaijan's history and culture.
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