Lebanon, Dahr El Souwwan, on the 21st of February 2021.

In light or shadow of what was and still is, project selected for the NUR 2022 call

On February 15 and 13, the Jury Evaluation Committee met to select the exhibition project that will be presented at Casa Árabe within the framework of PHotoESPAÑA 2022.

With the aim of giving visibility and dissemination to a project that offers a look at one or various aspects of Arab societies, from a contemporary curatorial perspective. Arab house and PHotoESPAÑA jointly presented the second edition of NUR | نور (Light).

The selected project has been “In light or Shadow of what was and still is” curated by Tarek Haddad and Betty Ketchedjian, an exhibition project that presents the work of photographers grouped in Lebanon's Collectif 1200.

The year 2019 had a turbulent end for Lebanon; What began as a hopeful revolution in October was hampered by a crumbling political and economic fabric, and people went into survival mode once again. In addition, the pandemic came, which brought everything to a standstill and a huge explosion in the port of Beirut destroyed large parts of the city, killing hundreds of people and injuring thousands. Persisting and continuing to create as a photographer during that time became very difficult but increasingly essential. 

Lebanon's Collectif 1200 has produced works that span documentary photography, storytelling, the conceptual, the contemporary, and the experimental. Themes as diverse as the intimate and the sociopolitical come together as an amalgamation of experiences to enrich a single holistic and global story that we try to tell; that of a death and a life in Lebanon. 

The exhibition encompasses the works of 12 Lebanese photographers who have reflected, through photography, countless events that they have lived and witnessed in Lebanon over the past few years. The exhibition is based on an oxymoron: a progressive loop. It focuses on recent years, but considers the long Lebanese history and the socio-political events that have shaped it to resemble a spiral on the axis of time rather than a line. Seen from the front and looking back the spiral appears to be a circle, and our lives seem to spin in an endless loop in which we are trapped, in which history repeats itself.  

«In light or Shadow of what was and still is» It will be shown to the public at the Madrid headquarters of Casa Árabe (c/ Alcalá, 62).

Special remarks

The jury also wants to state that it has valued the following two projects with special interest:  “The Blinding Light” with the work of the artist Mounir Fatmi and presented by ADN Galería and which, based on a series of photomontages, proposes timely reflections on issues that have to do with identity and miscegenation or on the relationship between myth and science. Likewise, although in a very different register, the proposal has been very positively estimated “7 × 7” curated by Roï Saade and with works by seven authors from Morocco, Lebanon, Iran, Turkey, Algeria, the Emirates and Iraq, and which addresses the ever-present theme of the ways in which the Arab world and the Middle East are represented in the media and in the collective imagination, trying to offer alternative narratives.

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