A Report for D'Arcy

Babak Kazemi

This is a project I’ve been working on for 9 years. Actually, I’m making a photo report for D’Arcy, the person who discovered Oil in Middle East and was the owner of Iran’s oil for many years, even though he never saw oil with his own eyes. I’ve chosen an ironic title for this report to reduce the bitterness of the reality regarding oil and the oil industry in Iran. Everything about Oil refineries, industries, workers and the environment in Iran is very depressing and in very bad conditions. On many trips over the years, I have taken photographs of the places and zones which are rich with oil.

D’Arcy was a great oil trader and in the time of his concessionaire he never saw even a barrel of oil with his own eyes, he never went to Iran and his only travel to the middle-east was a short visit to the Suez Canal. When William Knox Darcy signed the oil exploration contract with the Shah of Iran in 1901, no one could assume that such a contract could change the face of Iran, the Middle East, and even the whole world. Before that, Iran was just a country on the way to India that had dominance on key gateways to Indian; but, oil exploration made Iran as the fundamental goal. The first eruption of an oil well in Asia and the Middle East was at Masjed Soleiman and it made Iran a semi-colonial country.