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Karim Mottaghi


IRAN. Karim Mottaghi’s series “DEATH COMES HOME WITHOUT KNOCKING” has been selected as one of the finalist in the 2023 Eyeshot Open Call series category.

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Karim Mottaghi

“Death Comes Home Without Knocking”

In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, a grim specter swept across the globe, leaving no country unscathed. While first-world nations implemented stringent measures to combat the virus, the situation was markedly different in some developing countries, especially Iran.

Heightened by limited medical resources, international sanctions, and political turmoil, Iran faced an unusually devastating impact of the pandemic.

From April, 2020, until October, 2022, Karim Mottaghi witness firsthand the unfolding tragedy at Wadi-Rahmat Cemetery, the largest burial ground in northwest Iran, located in Tabriz—a city known for its harsh winters and sweltering summers.


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Death Comes Home Without Knocking

Uninvited: A Chronicle of Death and Resilience

There, the photographer not only captured these moments but also participated in the sacred rituals of bathing and burying the deceased. Loved ones, acquaintances, and fellow citizens—all were seen through the intimate prism of loss.

During the peak of the pandemic, the narrator’s mother would muse: “In these cold and snowy days of Tabriz, death visits our homes without knocking. Death, sooner or later, will come and look at me with your eyes. If death comes to me, put me in the grave yourself, gently shake my shoulder, so that I can get used to the grave and sleep peacefully, just as I shook you many times in your childhood to calm down.”

Her prophecies came true and death came to visit. Mottaghi buried her, fulfilling her last wishes by gently shaking her shoulder.

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Open Call Eyeshot 2023

Eyeshot Magazine #11 | Open Call 23 Edition

The 11th issue of Eyeshot Magazine is an eco-sustainable, limited edition work of art, printed in Italy on premium paper. Our dedicated team of 4 invested 3,000 hours to successfully conclude the 2023 Open Call. This year’s theme, “The Human Being,” explores diverse human experiences through photography. With an impressive 15,000 submissions from over 100 countries, the issue showcases a global perspective on street and documentary photography.

Karim Mottaghi

The Photographer

Born in 1966 in Tabriz, Iran, Karim Mottaghi has carved out a distinguished career that marries his artistic and academic pursuits. Holding a Master’s degree in photography, he has donned the dual hats of a university lecturer and a passionate photographer.

Simone Mantia Eyeshot

Winners op2023

Open Call 23

Xin Permhansa Eyeshot

Finalists op2023

Single Category

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Finalists op2023

Series Category

Eyeshot Open Call 2023: A Global Stage for Emerging and Established Photographers


The road to this moment has been a compelling journey of dedication and effort. Our tight-knit, passionate team of four has poured over 3,000 hours into realizing Eyeshot Open Call 2023, laboring tirelessly seven days a week. This year’s theme, “The Human Being,” has offered us a lens to explore the complexity and diversity of human experiences. From the dynamic pulse of cityscapes to the serene moments in rural life; from unguarded moments to intricate human narratives, the competition has received an astonishing 15,000 entries from more than 100 countries. The resulting body of work has been nothing short of a testament to the depth of creativity and passion that exists in the world of photography.

Guiding us through the meticulous selection process was a panel of highly-regarded jurors, a constellation of experts and luminaries in the field: Trent Parke, F. Dilek Yurdakul, Mark Abramson, Isadora Kosofsky, Laylah Amatullah Barrayn, Kitra Cahana, Richard Koci Hernandez, Narelle Autio, Emin Özmen, and our very own Marco Savarese, the visionary behind Eyeshot.