How anonymous photographers have documented the Iranian uprising

For the first time, France's Visa Pour l'Image photojournalism festival is showing an exhibition made up almost entirely of anonymous images. They are the photographic and video testimonies taken by Iranians during the mass protests that have shaken the country since the death of Mahsa Amini in September 2022.

Marie Sumalla and Ghazal Golshiri, two journalists from the French daily newspaper Le Monde, collected and authenticated thousands of images featured in the exhibition entitled "Uprising in Iran".

"From 16 September 2022, the day Mahsa Amini died, the reality of what was happening in the streets was visible on social networks," Sumalla told RFI.

"It was important to think about how we were going to collect these images in order to verify them, publish them and give them to our readers."

The French journalists asked two Iranian experts to help them authenticate and geolocate the images, check the sources and verify the dates.

"From then on, the videos and photos began to appear on social networks, but with great difficulty," Golshiri says.

"In Iran, WhatsApp and Instagram have been blocked since September 2022. Facebook and Twitter have been blocked since 2009, and Telegram since 2019. So the Iranians need anti-filtering software."

The exhibition in Perpignan documents the death of Amini in a hospital, the uprisings on the streets and the Muslim funeral rite 40 days after her death.

Read more on RFI English

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