Reference : V-P-LB-E-01484
Date : 04/2016
Country/Region : LEBANON
Caption : Beirut. The ICRC launches an interactive multimedia exhibition entitled “men: portraits of a journey”.
Photographer : SAADE, Joe
Confidentiality level : public
Publication restrictions : publication without restrictions
Copyright : ICRC
Description : News release on ICRC website, 07.04.2016: “Beirut (ICRC) – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is launching an interactive multimedia exhibition today, entitled Men: Portraits of a Journey, at the Minus 1 venue in Beirut. The exhibition, which will run from 7 to 17 April, draws attention to seven Lebanese, Palestinian and Syrian men whose lives have been massively disrupted by conflict and other violence in the region. "What is happening in the region today has reverberations throughout the world," said Fabrizzio Carboni, head of the ICRC delegation in Lebanon. "We hope that this exhibition will help people look beyond all that is most vividly in the news now – the stigma, the fear, the numbers – and see what men really have to endure as they struggle to keep going or to provide for their families." The exhibition consists of 14 portraits by the Lebanese photographer Joe Saade – two of each of the seven men. Together, they illuminate the social and psychological pressure to which men are subjected during conflict. While they view the portraits, visitors will hear, via audio recordings, narrative histories of the lives of the seven men. The interactive exhibition space, designed by Sabine Saba, is likely to make the experience particularly intense and involving. "We want to stress that these men, despite all that they have been through, are strong and survivors," said Soaade Messoudi, head of communications at the ICRC delegation in Lebanon, who conceived the idea of the exhibition. "They are trying to do everything they can to cope against unimaginable odds. That is why we have selected portraits of this kind, so that people can regard them as works of art, and absorb the stories they tell."
Gheyath Qana’a:
"My name is Gheyath Qana’a. I am a musician - percussionist - and film director. I studied archaeology in order to postpone my military service - not out of personal choice. I had my own home that I turned into an art residence. In July 2012, incidents took place in Aleppo. Suddenly, things escalated quickly and skirmishes reached my neighborhood. I was trapped for a week in a shed until I was able to escape. I took a few items that I need from the house such as my laptop, camera and a few other small things. And I told myself that I would be able to come back two or three days later to pick up the rest of my things. I tried eight times to return to the house - and I failed. I was exposed to very bad situations, including arrest. I could be arrested as soon as I got to my neighborhood. I was arrested in a building. Then on a front line - where I was threatened and beaten. I was able to get out but I did not manage to reach my house. The last time, I was caught with my main camera and was detained for two weeks. In detention, you are exposed to the worst things you can imagine; unimaginable things. After my release, I decided to leave Aleppo. I came to Beirut where I had the idea of forming a band called Al-Sa’aleek. A Su’look (tramp) is a person who rebels against society socially, politically and religiously. A person who gives generously to the needy. The band became famous for a period - and then things became unstable. None of us had a sense of stability in Lebanon. We were from the diaspora so we did not have anything stable since we were living for the moment. This is Beirut; you are living in a moment. We broke up the band because we were broken.
(Khalas) I got used to it. In Syria, all that we had built there is gone. Nothing can shock you anymore.
I will travel to another place. Even later, in Syria, or outside Syria, wherever I travel I will look for Syrian refugees and go back to working with children in music projects. Perhaps I will travel to Switzerland to continue my journey there.
I am a free spirit, I am not too concerned with the issue of Syrian identity. Wherever I am, I build my homeland which, to me, means building my memories and the place where I am at that time. Syria for me, as a homeland, does not mean a land and a cause. It is a concept of memories of where you lived during your childhood. You do not have a choice in the matter. You don’t choose your parents, your country, your name, your religion.
I will not go back, even if everything is well and the house is as it was with the same décor. Let someone else take it, I have no problem. Perhaps he will come up with something else, and I will do the same.
I have been in Lebanon for almost three years, but I have lived in 21 different houses. I just want this struggle to end.
You want a house. If you work hard on it, you make a home out of it, a homeland. Without worrying about leaving it and escaping one day."
Original material : digital
Resolution : 5760x3840
Orientation : landscape
Colour/B&W : black and white