The Children of Abadan

// photo //

The children of Abadan gathered regularly for music lessons in the
contemporary Museum of Modern Art in Abadan.
Stills: Felix Lübbert
76 B/W-Portraits, IR 2015


// photo exhibition //

Museum of contemporary Art
Abadan, IRAN
30.09.2015 – 15.01.2016
76 B/W-Prints
Körber Stiftung “KONVER-project”
Hamburg, GERMANY
13 B/W-Prints


Abadan is located in the southwest corner of Iran, along the border with Iraq. A little over one hundred years ago, oil was discovered in Iran, in Abadan. After its completion in 1938, the oil refinery in Abadan was the largest in the world for the next 50 years.

Abadan was booming. From 1910 to 1980 the population grew from 400 residents to over 300.000, turning Abadan into a modern city.

Due to its oil and strategic location in the Persian Gulf, Abadan has been heavily involved in wars, including the First and Second World War. The Iran-Iraq War started in 1980 with a surprise attack on Abadan. The Iraqis besieged the City for 12 months  until it was freed by the Iranian army. However, the city continued to be targeted and by 1986 the entire population had fled.

After the war ended, people returned and the oil industry was rebuilt. But even today you can see the bullet holes in the buildings across the city.

The Museum of Contemporary Art in Abadan had been in ruins since the war ended in 1988. Its windows were broken, homeless people and drug addicts took shelter here.

Now there is change. The Museum is a place where children gather every week for music lessons. Exhibitions are starting again. One of the first is about the future of Abadan.

The Children.


Thanks to: Mehdi BehbudiHamed SiamiAli Alavi, Ahmad Neshan, Hamidreza Ardalan
photographed in Abadan on september 22ed 2015