Artists featured in Lebanon: Between Reality and Fiction
Lamia Maria Abillama
b. 1962, Lebanon; lives in Beirut, Lebanon
Born in Lebanon to Lebanese-Brazilian parents, Lamia Maria Abillama received her degree from the International Center for Photography in New York in 2006. Her portrait photography has been featured by publications including New York Magazine, Fortune and The New York Times, which have sent her on multiple assignments. Abillama’s photos have won awards or placed in the finals of several international competitions, including being selected among the ten most important works at FotoFest 2010 at the Houston Biennial. The artist was noted as one of twenty photographers to follow by the British Journal of Photography in 2013. Her work has also been included in numerous museum collections.
b. 1980, Saudi Arabia; lives in Paris, France
Vladimir Antaki is a French-Lebanese-Canadian artist who grew up in Paris and studied history of art and cinema at the Sorbonne. In 2003, Antaki moved to Montreal, where he received a bachelor’s degree in visual and media arts in 2007. He specializes in portraiture and intimate storytelling. Beyrouth, Mon Amour is a visual love letter to Beirut, a city that has long held a special place in Antaki’s heart. Behind these digitally composited façades live the people of Beirut who are left behind by steel and glass modernity. Antaki’s compositions represent the rich cultural and historical mosaic of Beirut rendered in a visual style that recalls traditional Arabic mosaic art. His work has been exhibited in France, Canada, Lebanon, China, the United Kingdom and the United States. His first book, The Guardians, was published by Kehrer Verlag in the spring of 2019.
b. 1992, Lebanon; lives in Beirut, Lebanon
Born in Beirut in 1992, Myriam Boulos obtained her master’s in photography from the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts in 2015. Her projects combine a documentary approach with personal research. Most of her photos are taken during the night when, according to her, the social map of Beirut appears. In her photographic process, Boulos constantly seeks out the other, collecting traces of life and traces of the city - the marks of a human presence in society. Boulos has participated in many group exhibitions in Lebanon and internationally. In 2014, she won the Byblos Bank Award, which led to her first solo exhibition. Her second solo exhibition took place at the French Institute in Beirut in 2019. She was a 2018 finalist in the EyeEm Awards and the LensCulture Black and White Awards.
İeva Saudargaite Douaihi
b. 1988, Lithuania; lives in Beirut, Lebanon
Ieva Saudargaite Douaihi is a photographer and visual artist who lives in Beirut. Her artistic practice focuses on tangible and intangible traces as well as the materialization of buried stories and political, temporal and spatial limitations. Her work is guided by experimentation with new mediums, textures and forms. These range from e- photography to short films, as well as the use of Instagram, commentaries, sculptures, and topographical gestures. Born in Lithuania in 1988, Douaihi grew up between Lithuania, the UAE, and Lebanon. She studied architecture at the Lebanese American University campus in Byblos and at the ’École Spéciale d’Architecture de Paris.
b. 1980, Lebanon; lives in Beirut, Lebanon
Maria Kassab’s works are deeply rooted in and inspired by the political climate of Lebanon. Her layered aesthetic recalls these experiences, while literal superimpositions reconcile her personal history and the Western attitudes witnessed during her time abroad. Kassab’s collages construct a contemporaneous identity affected by the illogical and surreal, offering a new vision of a more malleable humanity via the use of social icons and imagery. Her manipulated old photographs create a visual language that deconstructs and decontextualizes reality as a form of resistance to the current political and cultural world. She is the winner of The Audience Choice Award at the 33rd Salon d'Automne, Sursock Museum 2019, and the First Prize photography winner of the Boghossian Foundation 2017.
b. 1973, Lebanon; lives in Beirut, Lebanon
Born in Lebanon, Dalia Khamissy earned her degree in photography from the Université Saint-Esprit de Kaslik in 1999. In 2010, Khamissy started documenting the families of the estimated 17,000 people who went missing during Lebanon’s 1975-90 civil-war and whose fate is still unknown, collecting their stories, following their traces and taking photographs of what they left behind. Her work on this project continues through today, in addition to her extensive coverage of the aftermath of the war in Syria, documenting the lives of refugees who fled their countries and found refuge in Lebanon and Jordan for different NGOs and international publications. Her photos have been widely seen in Europe, South America, the United States, and across the MENA region. Khamissy works on her own projects as well as commissions from editors and NGOs.
b. 1964 Lebanon; lives in Beirut, Lebanon
Vicky Mokbel was born and raised in Beirut. In 1985, due to the civil war, she was forced to move to Paris, where she relocated to pursue her European Bachelor of Photography at ICART, l'ecole du management de la culture et du marché de l’art. In 1988, she became the assistant to photographer Francois Henry in Paris and worked with him for 5 years; the studio was in charge of major advertising campaigns for renowned European firms. Mokbel returned to Beirut in 1995 to establish her own studio, where she works to this day. She has collaborated with advertising agencies, magazines, and individual clients and worked on private projects throughout the Middle East. Today, Mokbel pursues her two passions, photography and architecture, through her Urbaneyes series. She also explores the daily life of her country in her series Electricite du Liban EDL: On-Off/In-Out.
b. 1952, Italy; lives and works in Milan
Tanino Musso was born in Palermo, Italy on January 2, 1952. He was given an 8mm Kodak film camera at the age of 13 and began shooting videos of short family scenes. In 1967, he made a reportage about the 51st Targo Florio rally. He settled in Milan in the 1970s and began a collaboration with Collectivo Cinema Militante (CCM), founded by Romano Frassa, for which he filmed the labor movements and social struggles of that period.
In 1977, he was hired by RAI Milan as an assistant camera operator, and later became a special envoy for their television news broadcasts. He made several documentaries covering many wars, including the Ogaden War, the Gulf War and conflicts in Ireland and Lebanon, in addition to producing documentaries on art and sports. Passionate about photography, he befriended the famous Italian photographer, Gabriele Basilico, and joined him on a French government mission to photograph the French landscape, and later, Beirut, called the DATAR Photographic Mission.
It is there, and with one of the first Handycams, a Sony 8mm, that he recorded video scenes that would later become the seminal documentary Beyrouth Centre Ville, 1991 (22min). He currently lives in Milan.
Artists featured in Revolt
b. 1975, Lebanon; lives and works in Lebanon
After graduating from film school at New York University and working for production companies and TV channels, Pierre Aboujaoude returned to his native Lebanon. He started making documentaries and a film series for Al-Jazeera on religious sects. Aboujaoude’s film work includes directing portraits of Arab filmmakers, a six-part documentary on Beirut for ARTE, a film about motorbiking in Lebanon and several projects for NGOs. In 2014, he directed French film star Michel Galabru in the award-winning short film C’est le ciel qui vous envoie!. Aboujaoude is currently developing several feature film screenplays.
b. 1987, Germany; lives in Lebanon
Hussein Baydoun has worked as a photojournalist for several Lebanese news websites and international agencies since 2007. Currently he is working as a photojournalist at Al Araby Al Jadeed newspaper. His photography has been featured in exhibitions with The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and Visa Pour l’Image, among others.
b. 1994, Lebanon; lives in Lebanon
Blanche Eid is a Lebanon-based photographer and photography instructor. She graduated from Notre Dame University - Louaize with a bachelor’s degree in photography. Afterwards, she lived and worked for almost two years in Nicosia, Cyprus, where she pursued her Master’s in Digital Art and Design. Her work revolves around surveillance, the layers created by time and space, as well documenting human interactions.
b. 1997, Oman; lives and works in Beirut, Lebanon
Jana Khoury is a photography and video art enthusiast. She finds passion in capturing reality, and aims to unveil the unexpected within the mundane, and find life within darkness.
b. 1989, Paris; lives between Beirut and Paris
Emilie Madi is a Lebanese-Canadian cinematographer and photographer. She aims to share the realities of this world, while also trying to capture moments of humanity within difficult situations. Madi’s work reveals authenticity, allowing her viewers to explore existence, to travel, and, most importantly, to dream. Her rich and diverse work experiences have allowed Emilie to develop a deep and multicultural look at life.
b. 1985, Beirut, Lebanon; lives between Beirut and Berlin
Born in 1985, Elias Moubarak is a Lebanese filmmaker and photographer. He majored in communication arts at the Lebanese American University in Beirut, with a focus in radio, TV, and film. Since 2009, his photography has been widely published in books and publications. Moubarak’s work has also been exhibited in several galleries in Lebanon and abroad. Although he started his career as a street photographer, Moubarak has developed into a visual artist. In his latest exhibition, “The Wondrous and Probable Life of Mr H,” he uses vintage photography and photo-manipulation. Currently, Moubarak is working on a feature documentary film.
b. 1966, Lebanon; lives in Tripoli, Lebanon
Badr Safadi is a Lebanese photographer based in Tripoli, Lebanon. His photography encompasses a number of genres: street life, portraiture, fine art, nude and conceptual photography. Currently Safadi is focusing on studio portraiture. Although primarily self-taught, Safadi recently completed a bachelor’s degree in photography. He has exhibited his work in solo and group exhibitions in Tripoli and Beirut.
b. 1992, London; lives between Los Angeles and Beirut
Jack Seikaly is a Lebanese photographer who has been documenting the Lebanese uprising since its start on October 17, 2019. He attended Dickson College before relocating to New York City in 2013, then returned to university in Montreal in 2014 where he earned a degree in political science. Seikaly moved back to Lebanon in 2019 and began to focus on his career as a photographer, exhibiting his infrared series at Galerie Rochane in Beirut that same year. He was in the process of moving to Los Angeles when the protests began, but stayed in Lebanon to capture this unique moment in history and to document the resilience and truth of the revolution, as well as provide visual life to the events on the ground.
b. 1993, France; lives and works in Lebanon
Omar Sfeir is a filmmaker and photographer whose work focuses on documenting human intimacy and the complexity of relationships with regards to gender and sexuality. In addition to questioning norms and challenging the role of ruling elites, Sfeir’s work examines societal behaviors on a grand scale through the lens of political movements, uprisings and revolutions. He uses his art as a source of growth and self-reflection.
b. 1981, Lebanon, lives and works in Lebanon
Marwan Tahtah is a professional photographer who has been working for Lebanese newspapers and news agencies since 2000. Tahtah has worked on projects managed by The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Goethe-Institute and other organizations, in addition to his independent work. His photography has been exhibited in Beirut, Paris, Berlin and throughout the Middle East. In June 2016, he received a Master’s in Photography from the École Nationale Supérieure de la Photographie in Arles, France.