Database of Armenian photo-media practioners

Y. Nalbandian

1890 - 1900s

Only four of Y. Nalbandian's photographs have been discovered thus far and are now preserved in the photographic archive of Abu Dhabi's Akassah Center for Photography. These large format albumen prints represent some official ceremony of the Ottoman army battalion stationed in Baghdad. Shot outdoors between the 1890-1900s, the documentary photographs were made for commemorative purposes and it must be assumed that Nalbandian was one of a handful of Armenian photographers working in Iraq during those years. Having only a commemorative function, Nalbandian’s unpolished and rough images instead possess a strikingly realistic appeal, which is unusual for end of 19th century middle-eastern photography. Their nomenclative essence also remind us that photography’s disciplinary faculties were fully instrumentalised by the Ottoman authorities as tools for governance and surveillance at the dawn of the 20th century. No other biographical details pertaining to Nalbandian have come to light in the course of our research.


Armenian, Ottoman


Iraq, Ottoman Empire




Y. Nalbandian Photographie


studio, documentary


analogue photography


Akkasah Center for Photography, New York University, Abu Dhabi