Latif Al Ani (1932 - 2021) is considered the founding father of Iraqi photography.

The tragic modern history of Iraq has bared witness to revolutions, coups, wars, and sanctions, interwoven with some brief periods of peace and prosperity. Al Ani’s extensive career spans the late 1950s to the late 1970s, documenting the broad sweep of Iraqi daily life during that period, encapsulating a now lost aspect of Iraqi society. Whilst on assignment for the Iraq Petroleum Company to document the modernisation and industrializing of Iraq during a window of socioeconomic boom, Al Ani criss-crossed the country by foot, by car and by plane. He was the first photographer to have the opportunity to shoot aerial views of Iraq’s archaeological sites, its capital city of Baghdad, or the luxuriant palm groves. On the side, he developed a singular aesthetic language, Al Ani looked for beauty and the uncanny in the portraits of ‘his own people’, historical monuments, street scenes and imposing landscapes. His works reflects his interest in archeology and modern life, and the intersection that architecture makes between the two. The outbreak of the Iran-Iraq war prompted his decision to cease his photographic journey once and for good and it is only recently that a reappraisal of his work has taken place.