In 1956, the photographer Inge Morath and her friend and editor Robert Delpire left for the Middle East. Reflecting back on this voyage to Iran, Iraq, and Jordan, she said, “At that time it was very complicated for women to travel alone in the Middle East. I was always very considerate of how people live. If you don’t respect what people do, you should not photograph them.”
There is a connection between the photographer and those being photographed that immediately seizes anybody who is faced with this image: That is to say, you, them, me. The unbridled dance, the hair in the wind, the admiring look of the child who follows the pirouettes, those young girls who create visual mayhem stretching to the horizon, taken together it moves us, it reminds us that in the intimate moment when the photographer decides and releases the shutter, at that instant, she puts her very idea of photography into practice. “I photograph what I see. I have one eye riveted on the scene and the other turned inward on myself and my soul.”
Dancing Bedouins in vicinity of Baghdad, 1956. Medium: Vintage silver gelatin print, signed. Available for viewing at the gallery.
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