Shepherds, Iran 1969

Excerpt from ‘Nabelichting’, Chapter 7, Beards and Burkas

A career as a travel photographer was no option.
The art director of Avenue Magazine, to whom I had shown my pictures wasn’t charmed by the images of men with beards, women in burkas, a Kurdish wedding or Xerxes’ grave. Nor Persepolis or the Bridge of Isfahan. Hash-smoking hippies was what he wanted to see. Or pink elephants. Fakirs. Holy men. I didn’t have those. There were no painted elephants or fakirs in Iraq or Persia of the Shah and people did not smoke hashish like they did in India or Afghanistan. At least as long as they didn’t want to end up dangling from a rope.


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