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MAPPING MEMORIES

It's a review on a new generation of Lebanese photographers, in web creative photography magazine “WIP 12” (2011).



Photographers: George Awde, Manal Abu Shaheen, Nadim Bou Habib,Rayya Haddad, Rasha Kahil, Dima Karam, Dalia Khmaisy, Amahl Khouri, Roy Samaha, Rima Maroun, Randa Mirza, Tanya Traboulsi

MAPPING MEMORIES

My curatorial initiative to map Lebanese photography comes as a gesture to approach the country I was born: Lebanon. Selecting these works was like writing a fugue, as a rapporteur of inner landscapes.

A memory map involves tracing individual creativity but it is also an essentially collaborative enterprise; photographing and thinking along these lines engages with common issues of great urgency: identity and belonging, oblivion and elopement. They are all inter-connected through memory and through the stories we use as compass bearings… it involves listening to other people’s ghosts as well as your own.

Dèrive – the French for drift – characterizes more my approach than terms like quest or research. Nevertheless memory maps demand investigation and endless curiosity and furthermore an impulse towards wonder. A dèriveur tries to arrive at “astonishment upon the terrain of familiarity” and becomes more sensitive to the hidden histories and encrypted events.

Memory mapping grows out of these wanderings, reveries, and the unbidden images that come up into my mind. It always begins with Lebanon. With images of its landscape as well as its people but it also goes beyond the imagery and borders of a country, as a new generation of photographers emerges to restore a sincere and fresh look on its present.


photo by George Awde