Newsha Tavakolian



Newsha Tavakolian began working as a photographer for the Iranian press at the age of 16, covering wars in Iraq and a range of social issues in her native Iran. Over the years, her focus shifted away from journalistic photography to photography as art. Through her lens, Tavakolian explores social experiences in her homeland and human conflicts close and near. Tavakolian has photographed female guerilla fighters in Iraqi Kurdistan, Syria and Colombia, prohibited Iranian female singers and the lives of people living under sanctions.
Tavakolian was the fifth laureate of the 2014 Carmignac Gestion Photojournalism Award and the principle laureate of the 2015 Prince Claus Award.
Amongst others, Tavakolian’s work has found its place within the private collections of international institutions, including the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), the British Museum, Sackler Gallery and the Boston Museum of Fine Art.
Tavakolian became a Magnum Member in 2019.

See a short film on Newsha here.

AWARDS | Recognitions

Solo Exhibitions
2019 I Know Why the Rebel Sings, La Filature, Mulhouse, France
2018 The Art of Photojournalism – photographs of Newsha Tavakolian, The Museum for Intercultural Dialogue, Kielce, Poland
2017 Tina Modotti Gallery, Udine, Italy
2017 “I Know Why the Rebel Sings, Ab/Anbar Gallery, Tehran, Iran
2016 Atlas Sztuki Art Gallery, Lodz, Poland
2016 I know why the rebel sings, Prince Claus Fund Gallery, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2015 Blank Pages of an Iranian Photo Album, Saatchi Gallery, London, England
2015 Blank Pages of an Iranian Photo Album, Chappelle des Beaux-Arts de Paris, Paris, France
2015 Blank Pages of an Iranian Photo Album, East Wing Gallery, Dubai, UAE
2014 “Look”, Somerset House, London, England
2013 “Listen & The Day I Became a Woman”, LACMA, Los Angeles, USA
2013 “Look”, Thomas Erben Gallery, New York, USA
2013 “Look/Listen”, Bildmuseet Contemporary Art and Visual Culture, Umea, Sweden
2013 “Look”, Aaran Art Gallery, Tehran, Iran
2013 “Mothers of Martyrs”, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, England
2012 Listen, “Otto Gallery, Florence, Italy.2011 Listen, LA Caja Blanca Gallery, Palma de Majorca, Spain
2011 Listen, Jakob Church, Oslo, Norway
2011 Listen, Aaran Gallery, Tehran, Iran2009 Chanel and Chador, Side Gallery, Newcastle, United Kingdom
2009 Newsha Tavakolian, Centre Culturel Franco Allemand, Karlsruhe, Germany

Group Exhibitions
2019 – 2020 My Iran: Six Women Photographers, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M.Sackler Gallery, Washington, USA
2019 City Prince/ssesDHAKA, LAGOS, MANILA, MEXICO CITY and TEHRAN, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France
2018 In the Fields of Empty Days: The Intersection of Past and Present in Iranian Art
2018 “Hard Truths” 5 freelance photographers on an assignment for The New York Times, at Sotheby’s London, England
2017 Co-Curator, Iran Year 38, Arles Photo Festival, Arles, France
2017 Women Seeing Women by Magnum Photographers, Stalet-Wise Gallery, NYC, USA
2017 Carnegie Museum, Pittsburgh, USA
2016 Magnum New Blood, Milk Gallery, New York, USA
2016 Parallel Looks – Spain and Iran, Silkroad Gallery, Tehran, Iran
2016 Yinchuan Biennale, Museum of Contemporary Art Yinchuan (MOCA Yinchuan), China
2016 Exhibition at the O.P.E.N, Singapore International Festival of Arts, Singapore
2016 Mass Individualism: A form of multitude, Ab/Anbar Gallery, Tehran, Iran
2016 She who tells a Story: Women Photographers from Iran and the Arab World, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, USA
2016 New Magnum Photographers Exhibition, London, England
2016 Magnum Photos Newest Nominees, Milk Gallery, New York, USA
2016 Art Basel Hong Kong- Newsha Tavakolian: “Blank Pages of an Iranian Photo Album”, Thomas Erben Gallery
2016 LACMA Exhibition, Los Angeles, USA
2015 56th Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy
2013 “Listen”, Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, USA
2013 Maria Series, Mark Hachem Gallery, Art Paris, Paris, France
2012 Listen, Paris Photo, Paris, France
2012 Maria Series, III Moscow International Biennale for Young Art, Moscow, Russia
2012 Maria Series, Mark Hachem Gallery, The Other Resurrection Show, Beirut, Lebanon
2012 British Museum, Hajj, Journey of a Lifetime, London, United Kingdom
2012 May Your Wish Come True, Gonzalez Hulshof Gallery, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2012 Somehow, Somewhat In The middle of Things, Lhgwr Gallery, The Hague, The Netherlands
2012 Listen, Art Dubai, Aaran Gallery, Dubai, UAE
2012 Listen, The Empty Quarter Fine Art Gallery, Women on the Verge, Dubai, UAE
2011 Listen, Margins at 7th Photo, Biennial Poznan, Poland
2011 Listen, The Third Line Gallery, Snail Fever, Video and Pictures, Dubai, UAE
2011 Listen, The Empty Quarter Fine Art Gallery in Menasart Fair, Beirut, Lebanon
2011The Day I Became a Woman, Nicolas Silin Gallery, Paris, France
2011 Listen, Morono Kiang Gallery, My super Hero, Los Angeles, USA
2010 Black or White, Gallery Verso, Turin, Italy
2010 No More Bad Girls, Kunsthalle Exnergasse, Vienna, Austria
2010 Newsha Tavakolian, Thomas Erben Gallery New York, Duo show, New York City, USA
2009 Art Dubai, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
2009 Iran Inside Out, Chelsea Art Museum, New York City, United States2008 Made in Tehran: 6 Frauen-Blicke, Cicero Galerie, Berlin, Germany
2008 EVE women photographers collective Angkor Photography Festival, Cambodia
2007 EVE women photographers collective slideshow at Visa pour L’image, Perpignan, France
2006 EVE women photographers collective Gijón International Festival of Photojournalism, Gijon, Spain
2005 Mothers of Martyrs, Silk Road Gallery, Tehran, Iran
2002 Women in Iran, Asar Gallery, Tehran, Iran
1999 News, Khaneh Gallery, Tehran, Iran

2017 International Award of Photography-Hall of Fame
2016 Shortlisted for the BMW Art Journey
2016 Shortlisted for the Kraszna-Krausz Book Awards for the Best Photography Book
2016 Picture of the Year Award, First Place Feature Story
2015 Principal Prince Claus Award
2014 Fifth laureate of the Carmignac Gestion Photojournalism Award
2009 Magic of Persia Contemporary Art Prize Finalist, United Kingdom
2007 Inge Morath Award, Finalist, Magnum Photo Agency, New York, United States
2006 Joop Swart Masterclass, World Press Photo, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2006 Still Photography Award from the All Roads Film Project, National Geographic, Washington, D.C, USA
2003 Runner-up in Picture of the Year International Competition, Magazine Feature Category, National Press Photographers Association and Missouri School of Journalism, USA


Blank Pages of an Iranian Photo Album
She Who Tells a Story – Women Photographers from Iran and the Arab World, Kristen Gresh with a foreword by Michket Krifa,MFA Publications
2012 Fifth Pillar, Hajj Pilgrimage, by Newsha Tavakolian, Gilgamesh Publishing House
2010 A History of Women’s Photographers, by Naomi Rosenblum, Abbeville Press.
2009 Transit Tehran: Young Iran and Its Inspirations, by Malu Halasa and Maziar Bahari, Garnet Publishing
2008 Iranian Photography Now, by Rose Issa, Hatje Cantz Verlag