The Middle East Institute's MEI Art Gallery in collaboration with the Institut du Monde Arabe, the Beirut Museum of Art, the Beirut Center of Photography, and the Association for the Promotion and Exhibition of the Arts in Lebanon have initiated a virtual photography exhibition at the Washington, D.C.-based Middle East Institute (MEI) in light of the coronavirus pandemic (which was originally planned as a physical exhibit for the summer of 2020 in the newly launched MEI Art Gallery.)
Badr Safadi, Dusk, October 2019
Curated by Chantale Fahmi, these images tell both a historic and contemporary story of Lebanon, pondering over the struggle for better social justice and democracy that continues to this day in the shadow of COVID-19.
The exhibition showcases the aftermath of Lebanon's civil war (1975-1990), as well as the street protests that occured in October 2019 in response to corruption and political mismanagement that triggered Lebanon’s financial collapse.
Blanche Eid, The Next Day, October 2019
“Lebanon Then and Now couldn’t be more timely," expressed chairperson of the Beirut Museum of Art, USA and president of the Association for the Promotion and Exhibition of the Arts in Lebanon (APEAL), Rita Nammour.
“We are living in a nightmare, Lebanon’s currency has been devalued to alarming levels and poverty is soaring. Hopes and dreams expressed in the early days of Lebanon’s protests appear shattered, but people are holding on.”
Myriam Boulos, Nightlife, 2015
The Lebanon-based curator carefully selected the images from two recent exhibitions: The IMA’s “Lebanon: Between Reality and Fiction,” which opened in Paris in September 2019, and APEAL’s “Revolt,” which was held in the heart of Beirut.
"Lebanon’s photography sector has developed in exciting ways over the past decade. Such as photographers working with foreign news agencies and taking advantage of Lebanon’s vibrant arts scene to nurture their talent." expressed Chantale.
The exhibition features the work of 17 Lebanese photographers and one filmmaker, and is comprised of 50 images. Collectively demonstrating the power of photography - from art photography to photojournalism - the curation captures the different realities and emotions throughout this challenging period of time within Lebanese history.
To view the virtual exhibition click here. Images courtesy of the respective artists