By Nigar Orujova
A photo exhibition for the works of famous photographer Reza Deghati titled “Azerbaijan – land of tolerance” has opened in Paris.
The exhibition was organized by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation. Azerbaijan’s First Lady and Heydar Aliyev Foundation President Mehriban Aliyeva attended the event.
The exhibition, which opened in Paris’s city hall in the 1st arrondissement of Paris, has been in the spotlight of the French public, Parisian art lovers, as well as media outlets.
Mayor of the first arrondissement of Paris, Jean-Francois Legaret, said Reza Deghati’s photographs have always amazed art lovers.
“The photographs pay tribute to tolerance, which is a very important theme,” he said. The mayor thanked first lady Mehriban Aliyeva for supporting the organization of the exhibition.
Azerbaijan’s Ambassador to France Elchin Amirbayov said the event contributes to the strengthening of relations between the two countries.
He said that Mehriban Aliyeva has always supported activities aimed at promoting culture.
“Azerbaijan is located at the crossroads of civilizations and this exhibition perfectly demonstrates the inter-religious relations in our country,” Amirbayov said.
Reza Deghati expressed gratitude to Mehriban Aliyeva for attending the event. He said there is a place in the world where representatives of various religions and nations live in amiability, and this place is Azerbaijan.
Event organizer Karla Aregoni expressed gratitude to Mehriban Aliyeva for assistance in holding such an exhibition.
The exhibition features photographs taken by Reza Deghati over the years. The works display a way of life, customs, and traditions of the representatives of different nations and religions living in Azerbaijan, reflect a respectful and deferential attitude of various ethnic groups toward each other.
The photos depict the nature of Azerbaijan, its ancient customs and traditions, and the daily lives of ordinary people.
Speaking about Reza Deghati’s works, the first lady stressed their importance in terms of promoting the country.
Famed photographer Reza Deghati visited Azerbaijan in 1987 for the first time. In 1997, he lived in Azerbaijan for several months and traveled across the country taking pictures of the customs and traditions of various people.
Reza has covered much of the globe for National Geographic Magazine.
Several films about Reza's work have been produced by National Geographic Television, most notably the Frontline Diaries, which won an Emmy Award in 2002.
Reza's photographs have been exhibited in major cities throughout the world.
War+Peace (2009), an exhibit featuring thirty years worth of Reza's photojournalistic adventures, was held at the Caen Memorial (Peace Museum) in Normandy, France. One World, One Tribe (2006) was the National Geographic Museum's first outdoor exhibition in Washington D.C, while Reza's landmark exhibition in Paris drew a million visitors.
With the “Azerbaijan – land of tolerance” exhibition, Reza is putting on display a series of photographs on the Christian, Muslim, and Jewish communities cohabitating in Azerbaijan.
The exhibition highlights the millennial ties that all of these religious communities have forged with each other.
Through his photographs, the photographer has always tried to capture the testimonies of human kind, particularly in places where different cultures intersect.
Reza observed Azerbaijan, a place where Christians, Muslims, and Jews live peacefully on the same land, over the course of several months while reporting in the country.
Nigar Orujova is AzerNews’s staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @o_nigar
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