Iranian photo-journalist Asghar Khamesh beats fourteen photographers to the L’Iris D’or Photographer of the Year award along with a winning prize of $25,000 USD at the 2016 Sony World Photography Awards for his photo series, Fire of Hatred.
Khamesh who was born in Tehran, Iran in 1963 is a photojournalist whose photo series, titled Fire of Hatred, shone light on the violence of throwing acid on women an children in Iran. His work was chosen out of the first place winners from 14 categories.
The categories were divided into two genres in Art and Documentary. Both genres were then broken down into categories, Staged and Candid, Daily Life and Environment respectively.
The 2016 Sony World Photography Contest received its highest entries since its commencement. A total of 127,098 images were submitted from all over the world.
His photographs tell a story so compelling, one can’t begin to fathom the extent at which men’s hearts can enact such evil; yet, one must applaud the strength and tenacity of these acid victims.
Here’s his Fire Of Hatred Series:
Shirin Mohamadi. An 18-year-old Tehran resident. She said no to her suitor on the first day of New Year 2012. She was then attacked with acid by her suitor.
Shirin lost her right eye, nose, one of her ears and her mouth was damaged severely. Other parts of her body were burned deeply.
She has had a lot of surgeries and still needs to have more to continue improving her condition.
Somayeh Mehri and Ranaa
Somayeh Mehri, 29 years old, resident of Bam. One day, Somayeh decided she had to divorce. In June 2011, her husband responded by throwing acid on her face and body as well as on her daughter Raana.
Somayeh and Raana were disfigured and both lost their right eyes. Somayeh survived for 4 years, suffering through pain and numerous operations.
In April 2015, due to side effects from the attack, including lung scarring, she died in one of Tehran’s hospital. Above, Somayeh’s photo is held in Raana’s hands.
Masoumeh Atai, 32 years old, Esfahan resident. In 2008, she divorced her husband. Two years later, she was attacked with acid by her ex-father-in-law.
The reason for the acid throwing was that Masoumeh disagreed with her father-in-law, who wanted her to reconcile with her ex-husband. Masoumeh lost her sight.
Maryam Zamani and Arezo Hashemi Nezhad
Maryam Zamani, 38 years old with Arezo Hashemi Nezhad, 13 years old. Both Tehran residents.
In 2010, while Maryam and her three daughters were sleeping, her brother’s wife attacked her and her children with acid (vindictively and from envy). Both Maryam and Arezo, one of her daughters, were completely disfigured.
They have had many surgeries and still need more.
Zivar Parvin, 37 years old. After her husband died, her brother-in-law proposed to her. Her answer was no.
On the night of July 9, 2011, her brother-in-law (along with his wife) threw acid on Zivar and her 18-year-old daughter Yasra while they were sleeping. 18 days after the acid attack, Yasra died. Zivar lost her left eye completely.
The photo in her hand pictures Zivar before the acid attack.
Mohsen Mortazavi, 34 years old. During his first day of work in 2012, his co-worker welcomed him back with 3 liters acid. After that, he knifed him 16 times. All of this in revenge for making prank calls.
Only once the attacks were concluded did his co-worker understood that Mohsen did not make those prank calls—it was someone else.
Mohsen was completely disfigured and also lost his right eye, the skin on his head, his right eardrum and his auricle.
Mahnaz Kazemi, 39 years old, Qom resident (the Qom province is 130 km south of Tehran). Mahnaz was always beaten and harmed by her husband. She decided to divorce him.
When her husband learned about this petition for divorce, he attacked Mehnaz with acid. Mahnaz lost her beauty—but also her left eye and one ear completely.
Source/Photo Credit: LensCulture