Solmaz Daryani

Location: United Kingdom
Nationality: Iranian
Biography: Solmaz Daryani is an Iranian documentary photographer loosely based between Iran and the UK. She is a grantee of the Magnum Foundation, National Geographic Society grantee, and a member of Women Photograph and Diversify Photo. Her work is mainly... read on
News Spotlight
The silence due
solmaz daryani
Apr 10, 2020
The allegations by Maximilian Mann and his collective are filled with misinformation.[1] They are not only defamatory about my work, ethics, and professionalism which I have put my entire self into developing in order to bring awareness to some of the real challenges that my region and people face today in Iran — but are also speculative and offensive towards Visura, the platform which I use to manage my website and online presence since 2016, as well as Kaveh Rostamkhani who initially brought up the issue and concern.

Personal website presentations change all the time throughout the years. This is the dynamic nature of the web as we know it today. To now expect from me to have taken screenshots of my edits in the past to have proof in the case someone copies my work in the future is not only offensive but also very hurtful and disappointing. This experience has really made me question whether our industry offers an enabling environment for women and non-white practitioners as well as local talent worldwide - or whether a lot of it is just a facade.

Maximilian knows my work. He met with me, and he admitted to meeting with me and seeing my work. At this point, he is the only person who consciously can admit to whether or not he copied my work.

I took a stand to protect my work. But what I am currently experiencing has made me feel very vulnerable and scared. I have been exposed to numerous fake and speculative allegations as well as received private and public attacks adjoining troll social media behavior from people who favor, support or defend Mann.

To my dismay, I have learnt that many of these attacks and allegations have apparently been initiated by Mann's former tutor at the Dortmund University of Applied Sciences and Arts. This has reached a level that is now scary. As much as I wanted to stand up for my work, these discussions are not taking place in a safe, enabling and professional environment. My fear now is that the conversation will be distorted into one where somehow I will be blamed for his wrongdoings.

To protect my mental and emotional health, and because I find this entire experience a complete heartbreak, I am stepping back from responding to these abusive counter-allegations. It is an attempt to detract from the initially questioned issues and to defame me by putting my word in question. This abuse is precisely the conduct that needs to stop in our industry, and I hope my colleagues, editors and publishers, realize how concerning it really is.

The World Press Photo Foundation has been conducting an investigation in this matter for a month now. I sincerely hope the organization's investigation will be thorough and that it includes not only Docks collective's recent allegations which are filled with defamatory misinformation, but also with the screenshots of emails and messages that Maximilian Mann and his tutor have sent to many other colleagues - photographers and editors - initiating a public catcall.

I know who I am. I know my love and dedication to my work and stories. I wish to express my gratitude and appreciation to everyone who has been expressing their support in one or another way, recently and during my entire difficult career. I hope those who have known me for years will support my silence while World Press Photo finalizes their investigation. After all, trust is the main pillar this profession is based upon. In the meantime, I hope this experience has revealed the difficult conversations our industry needs to have around the lack of enabling environment, process, and structures for freelance professional photographers today – especially on how local talent outside the media power regions in Europe and the US are affected.



Also by Solmaz Daryani —

Media News

The Eyes Of Earth By Solmaz Daryani Wins The 2021 FotoEvidence W Award

By Solmaz Daryani — The Eyes of Earth, my 6-year project, is chosen as the 2021 FotoEvidence W Award winner. In partnership..
Events News

PhEST - See Beyond the Sea: International festival of photography and art in Monopoli(Italy)

By Solmaz Daryani / monopoli — Solmaz Daryani | phest PhEST - artists - Solmaz Daryani PhEST is photography, cinema, music, art,..
Events News

Runner up for the Marilyn Stafford FotoReportage Award 2020

By Solmaz Daryani — I am thrilled to have my work in progress "Afghanistan: Between Climate and  Conflict" marked..
Media News

In Afghanistan, climate change complicates future prospects for peace

By Solmaz Daryani / Afghanistan — As the US ponders its future involvement in Afghanistan, we underestimate climate change as one major threat..
Events News

UNDP exhibition at Photoville

By Solmaz Daryani / New york city — My long-term project "The eyes of Earth" featured in UNDP's exhibit on inequality and climate..

In The Desert of Iran's Wetlands published in L'OBS Magazine

By Solmaz Daryani — A portfolio of my ongoing project published in L'Obs Magazine. The story is about socio-economic..

PhotogrVphy Grant 2018 awards announced

By Solmaz Daryani — I am very delighted to receive the Second Place, 2018 PhotogrVphy Grant in the category of Climate for my..
Environment News


By Solmaz Daryani — Efforts to save Lake Urmia — once a favorite getaway for Iranians — might be too little, too..

The revealer

By Solmaz Daryani — A SACRED, SULLIED SPACE: A cluster of Mandaeans convene at the open shores of the Karun River on a bright..

Photography in Collaboration: On Religion

By Solmaz Daryani — I was able to start a collaborative photography project named "A sacred and Sullied space" with the support..


By Solmaz Daryani — PondyPHOTO, a biennale festival initiated by PondyART, is a platform where art and education attempt to..

It's great to see that Lake Urmia project Published in current issue of Foreign Policy Magazine.

By Solmaz Daryani — Troubled Waters Iran’s Lake Urmia once boasted flocks of flamingos and swarms of tourists eager to swim in..

Shortlisted as D&AD Next Photographer Award 2016

By Solmaz Daryani — Getty Images and D&AD are thrilled to present to you the Next Photographer Shortlist including eighteen..

Delighted to be one of the selected photographers by Elizabeth Krist for the Visura Instagram Open call!

By Solmaz Daryani — Delighted that Lake Urmia project will be featured and introduced by long-time National Geographic..
Awards News

The winners of the sixth and final edition of the IdeasTap Photographic Award

By Solmaz Daryani — 22 December 2015:  The winners of the sixth and final edition of the IdeasTap Photographic Award,..
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