Joana Hadjithomas [lb], Khalil Joreige [lb]
Mixed Media, 1997-2007
Cluster "Visionary Lives, Fictionalised Selves / Fictionalising Oneself"
The story of a pyromaniac photographer is the first part of the “Wonder Beirut“ project. It is based on the collection of a Lebanese photographer named Abdallah Farah. The latter took photos which served to produced a series of postcards of Beirut, in 1968 and 1969, which are still on sale nowadays. The negatives of those postcards were burnt by Abdallah Farah between 1975 and 1990, during the Lebanese civil war, according to the damages caused by the bombings. The “Wonder Beirut“ project shows the results of Farahs photographical and pyromaniacal work. Part of the project are as well the exact notes of Farah documenting the photographs which he never developed because of the lack of fixative and photographic paper during the war years. By publishing and distributing these images, the artists try to fight the trend which puts the Lebanese civil war between brackets and includes the Lebanese conflict only marginally in the contemporary history.