In the Reed Landscapes of the Euphrates and Tigris
Photographs by Heinz Westphal from southern Iraq, 1955/56

12.11.2010 to 27.03.2011

In the years 1955 and 1956 Heinz Westphal travelled through southern Iraq, together with his wife, the ethnologist Sigrid Westphal-Hellbusch. The exhibition 'In den Schilflandschaften von Euphrat und Tigris' ['In the Reed Landscapes of the Euphrates and Tigris'] brings together around 40 pictures taken by Westphal on this trip.

The photographs show the Madan people, along with their landscape and their buildings. Also known as the Marsh Arabs, the Madan inhabit the marshy regions in the lower reaches of the Euphrates and Tigris rivers. They construct artificial islands and houses out of reeds and bullrushes, as well as mats and domestic utensils. Their lifestyle represents a unique adaptation to the environment of reeds by which they are surrounded.

This exhibition launches a series of photographic exhibitions which have been planned by the Visual Anthropology division of the Ethnological Museum, founded just recently in 2009.

Held as part of the Berlin contribution to the European Month of Photography.