17 Lebanese Photographers Capture 20 Years of Drastic Change

Lebanon, then and now

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Lebanon is a nation on the brink of collapse, with a population on the verge of famine. Wondering how it this all happened? Look no further. The Middle East Institute’s (MEI) latest exhibition is exploring the country’s troubled history.  

After the Second World War, Beirut was nicknamed the ‘Paris of the Middle East’. Brimming with tourists, the Lebanese fashion and cultural capital retained its nickname for decades. But that unfortunately came to a slow halt as the years went on.

Entitled Lebanon Then and Now: Photography from 2006 to 2020, the exhibition will have 50 powerful images on display that each capture the aftermath of Lebanon’s civil war, trailing the nation’s past all the way up until the protests that took over the streets in October 2019.

Marwan Tahtah, Revolution in Lebanon, October 17, 2019 (Courtesy of the artist)

Lamia Maria Abillama, Clashing Realities (1-2) 2006-in progress (Courtesy of the artist)

The exhibit tells the story of the troubled calm that presaged Lebanon’s current storm and of the struggle for greater social justice and democracy that continues to this day in the shadow of the Covid-19 pandemic,” the show’s organizers declared in a statement.

Dalia Khamissy, The Missing of Lebanon, (1-3), 2010-in progress (Courtesy of the artist)

Curated by Chantale Fahmi, the exhibition—which was scheduled to be held physically at MEI’s gallery in Washington DC—is now being held online after closures due to the pandemic. That means anyone around the world can attend the exhibition, and it’s running until September 25. 

The exhibition will feature the work of 17 Lebanese photographers, among them Maryam Boulos, with photography from the frontlines of the protests as well as Lebanon’s vibrant nightlife.
Myriam Boulos, Nightshift 1-6, 2015 (Courtesy of the artist)

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Photo: Omar Sfeir, The Lovers in Times of Revolution, October 21, 2019 (Courtesy of the artist)

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