We received 23 submissions and this first session's selector Yasmina Reggad was pleased to have the opportunity of seeing all these works and discovering new photographers from which she has selected five.
We wish unselected photographers every success with future submissions to the Photo Forum Beirut and invite them to join us on Tuesday.
Next session's selector and guest-speaker will be unveiled on Tuesday night.
Meanwhile, we are pleased to tell more about the five selected photographers who will present their work on Tuesday 19th, 7pm at Zico House.
** Anastasia Taylor-Lind
[...] In the 1980s, among the ranks of the guerrilla fighters of the PKK or Kurdistan Workers Party, there were reported to be a dozen women fighting. While figures are inexact, one commander told us as many as 10,000 PKK soldiers are amassing in mountain camps just across the Iraqi border, risking their lives in daily spats with the Turkish army – the military representatives of a government they accuse of unmerciful human rights atrocities and the suppression of a nation of 14 million people. However, what is not widely reported is that a third of these Kurdish combatants are women – a phenomenon perhaps without precedent.
In all recent conflicts, from Bosnia to Palestine, women have been amongst those killed fighting, but has there ever been such an exodus of women leaving village life and their families, to take up arms in a foreign land?
Each had a story about the family they had left behind, and although they come from diverse backgrounds, and often from different countries, each had an experience that has driven their decision to fight and was at the heart of their belief in the PKK cause. And each believed that the sacrifices they had made, in leaving their homes and committing to a life which precludes marriage and having children, was worthwhile.
(Text by Katie Scott)
Anastasia Taylor-Lind is a young English photojournalist who is part of the VII Photo Agency mentor program under the guidance of Ron Haviv. She is based in Damascus where she works for clients such as The Sunday Times Magazine, Marie Claire and GEO Germany.
Anastasia’s work has been exhibited internationally, in spaces such as The Frontline Club in London, Oude Kerk in Amsterdam and the Lodz Photo festival in Poland.
Anastasia has won a number of photography awards including The Guardian Photography prize in 2006. She recently won the Canon Young Photographer Award 2009 for the best photography project.
More about Anastasia Taylor-Lind's work on: www.anastasiataylorlind.com
** Lara Zankoul
This series is part of a bigger project called the "365 project", which consists in taking a picture a day. I started this project on September 14th 2009, because I wanted to dedicate more time everyday to something I loved. This project turned to be a journey to see how far I could push myself and push my boundaries while experimenting with photography.
Here I am today, 125 pictures have been taken and I am still learning, trying and pushing my self.
My photographs are personal and intuitive images that express a certain state of mind, feelings, thoughts or philosophies. Among them are some pictures I took for a specific cause, such as global actions like the AIDS Awareness Day.
My photography is mainly conceptual. I like to convey the big picture through subtle things, like a movement, the lighting, or a part of a bigger thing. Art is not the representation of a beautiful thing, but the beautiful representation of things. When I see a very common setting, I make it beautiful in my mind and try to capture this with photography.
A picture speaks a thousand words.
Lara Zankoul was born in 1987 in Lebanon, lived in KSA and came back to Lebanon when she was 17 years old.
She studied economics at Notre Dame University, where she took an introductory course to photography as a free elective. She bought her first camera in June 2009 and has been passionate about photography since then. She is currently working in the business field as a researcher. Lara started to work as a freelance photographer in December 2009. She is still exploring the photography world through her "365" project on Flickr.
** Nadim Bou Habib
Nadim Bou Habib made a documentary about a forgotten railway, built a century ago by the Ottomans, traveling between Syria, Jordan, Turkey and Iran, in a way to reveal its secrets.
The photographs bring a touching approach to his subject, regardless of its location or ethnicities in the Middle East.
" It's like a blood vessel that transports oxygen to all parts of the body without any distinction."
Nadim Bou Habib was born in Lebanon in 1982. Ever since he was a child, he was fascinated by photography, led by his curiosity and sense of adventure.
He gave up his studies in medicine and shifted to photography. It was here that he found his true passion. He graduated 2 years ago with a BA in photography from the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik.
His work has been displayed in several international magazines, Asian Geographic Passport, Alef Mag, Soura Magazine. He now works in his own studio and is based in Beirut.
More about Nadim Bou Habib's work on: www.nadimbouhabib.com (under construction)
** Christina Rahme
Fascinated by the world of imagination and fantasy - the world of creative photography, I built my fashion photography around this. My 2 series presented here were based on different concepts. The first, a commission for a "maison de couture", was based on the theme “Movement,” inspired by the loose, fluid and modern dresses. I wanted to portray a free bride rebelling, hence the choice of the movement.
The second series, a personal fashion project under the theme “Shoes.” In this project I worked on a relationship duality: in one hand, the women between each others, and on the other hand women' relationship with shoes.
Lebanese photographer Christina Rahme graduated with a M.A. in photography from USEK, in 2000. In her work, she focuses on enhancing the beauty of her subjects through light and creative photography as well as drawing the viewers into a world of imagination and fantasy.
Her most recent photo shoots include fashion commissions for magazines such as ELLE oriental, Aishti magazine and Gossip as well as various fashion designers. She has also worked on different advertising and promotional campaigns with advertising agencies such as Grey Worldwide and Impact BBDO.
Based in Beirut, she travels throughout the Middle East region for commissions.
Christina had the opportunity to work with world-renowned photographer Andre Rau as well as join various internships in Paris
More about Christina Rahme's work on: www.christinarahme.com (under construction)
The title "Welcome to Lebanese" has been inspired by the sentence many Lebanese taxi drivers at the International airport of Beirut use as they welcome visitors.
This series is a combination of portraits of different Lebanese characters from all over the country, combined with photographs of their working spaces.
During my ongoing stay in Lebanon, a country with much resemblance to my homeland Italy, I started a photographic research through which I tried to understand Lebanon. In this project, I aimed to capture the portraits of people from different parts of the country, coming from different social and religious backgrounds in order to emphasise the resemblance in their differences.
In my project, I was inspired by the photography book Un Paese - Portrait of an Italian Village by Paul Strand and Italian writer Cesare Zavattini. Through his images, Strand captures the immediacy of life and universal rhythm of Luzzara, Zavattini’s birthplace, yet quite unknown but radiant village in Italy’s Po Valley. Strand’s work expresses a deep connection between the lines in the faces of people he portrays and the places where they live, work and belong to, something I aimed to capture in my own view of Lebanon.
Federico De Nardo was born in Italy. He studied Tropical and Subtropical Agricultural Engineering.
His background as a photographer comes from an Msc. in fine art printing and zonal system and several years of self-learning.
He has his personal show “H2O2” in 1998, and several collective exhibitions.
He worked as assistant photographer for Luca Capuano Studio in 2005 and used to teach black and white fine art printing and history of photography in several privates schools in Bologna and Florence.
He worked in several tropical and subtropical countries he tries to understand through the lens of his camera and to translate into photography language.