The city that exploded slowly

Leslie Hakim-Dowek

Research output: Non-textual formExhibition


This photo-text series is an attempt to map out a personal ‘archaeology’ through a dispersed history encompassing the Lebanese civil war from 1975 to 1991, its aftermath and the many return trips, which have punctuated my life since then. A parallel is drawn between a personal tale and the many transformations of Beirut from a magical and chaotic place to a war-torn no man’s land and finally becoming a sanitised space colonised by global brands. A process of mental mapping is delineated marking the sites of violence, personal trauma and the ever-shifting boundaries in a city seen in a constant process of erosion and dissolution. Interspersed in this story of conflict are snapshots of our natural environment and how warfare brings into sharper focus our abuse and schism from nature notably during the events of 2006. I revisit a discontinuous history where each generation has known new borders and a new language. A family album is partly traced by street-photographers’ snapshots, as in a time-tunnel, along the seaside promenade capturing my parents in Beirut’s heyday, emulating western fashions, forever in between two worlds. Exhibited at SPACE Gallery, Portsmouth, November 2009 Exhibited at Brighton Photo Fringe, 2 October-13 November 2010
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2009
EventBrighton Photo Fringe - Brighton, United Kingdom
Duration: 2 Oct 201013 Nov 2010


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