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Nadir Noori: A man with many nicknames

by Fanis Kollias  |   Decemeber 18, 2017

If you take a stroll through the center of Athens with Nadir Noori, expect to be interrupted by an acquaintance of his every 20 minutes as he is known by that many people. His nicknames range from ‘The Japanese guy’, ‘The Photographer’ to ‘Mayor’, and ‘Teacher’. You can even put him in the complicated position of asking him to explain his job, which will result in a smile, a deep breath and a long list of professions he takes on.

Yet his favourite profession or hobby, would be that of a photographer. His first camera purchase was in Iran at the age of 14. A beautiful old manual film camera, which he sadly never managed to develop the photos from as he didn’t know at the time how get the images printed. In Nadir’s home country of Afghanistan, there was no one who knew about photography yet that never stopped him from falling in love with this art form – even though he knew nothing about it. He was fascinated – and still is today – by this form of creativity, and how through one image alone one can capture an expression, a feeling and a gesture, all layered into each other.

“Man is responsible for everything good or bad that takes place in this world , and through this reflection the real face of our society is mirrored back to the viewer. That is why I don’t like using flash in my photography. Flash has the ability to hide shadows and wipe out any imperfections. Yet what would the world be like without these imperfections? A fake world that is.”

This week (18-22 Dec), Nadir is exhibiting 15 photographs of his at the Art Factory space, taking part in a show named Find Refuge in Art which is being organised by the Greek Open University. The selection of these 15 images was an extremely hard choice, he admits, as Nadir believes that there are no bad images, and to choose only 15 out of thousands is a very difficult task. “You always feel like something is being left out!”

Yet when the time came to choose 15 images under the theme of The Human’ he tried to collect photos showcasing happiness and sadness. Within the exhibition you will find captured moments of people from all backgrounds, yet they are all connected through the black and white depth presented. Such as one powerful image showcasing a set of scales, which metaphorically represent the babies which are weighed before they are ‘sold into the world’ ready for the sadness and sorrow to come. Another image shedding light on the concept of home – that all people have the basic urge to have a space that they can feel safe, yet some don’t and will never have the luck and fortune to obtain.

“Buy a good pair of shoes

Nadir’s partner in this photography exhibition is Artemis Alkalai, who is not only a photographer but is also responsible for the wooden home construction that is featured in the space. Even though Nadir has previously received numerous requests to exhibit his photographs, he has always been extremely selective before accepting any invitation, as he needs to identify the approach that the exhibits have, in order to represent the migrants and refugees humanly.

Before the end of the interview, we asked Nadir to share a few pieces of advice for aspiring photographers:

“As tough as your life may be, the tougher you become as a person. My first advice a would therefore be, do not be tough on yourself. Go out and photograph the world, there truly are no bad photographs. My second piece of advice is, after purchasing a camera, go ahead and buy a good pair of shoes as you will end up walking far and wide to capture the right shot!”

In order to see the rest of Nadir’s photographs check out the information about the exhibition here.

And here you can follow Nadir for more of his work.


Written by Fanis Kollias
Photograph by Fanis Kollias



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