Photography For The Love Of Beirut

The world has been stunned by the explosion that hit Beirut last week. Those of us with close ties to the city have been watching in tears as the city we love responds and attempts to recover to the situation in which they have found themselves. And, as if the blast was not enough, the country is in political turmoil as the economy continues to suffer after months of instability. While dozens of initiatives the world over like Impact Lebanon, Beit El Baraka and the Lebanese Red Cross have been accepting donations in order to help those in need, the international art community is also playing its part to help Lebanon. Ruwa and Gulf Photo Plus have just launched For the Love of Beirut, a photographic print sale in partnership with Beirut Center of Photography, In My House, and Jadaliyya to celebrate a love and intimate appreciation for the city, and to  support the communities affected by the blast. 

This initiative brings together a selection of over 60 international visual artists including Lebanese photographers who are directly reacting to the situation – including the likes of Myriam Boulos and Tamara Abdul Hadi, who have been photographing movements in Beirut on the ground. Other artists in the sale come from Jordan, Palestine, UAE, Kuwait, Tunisia, Yemen, Mauritania, Somaliland, Iraq, Azerbaijan, Syria, Kuwait, Saudi, Tanzania, Iran, Algeria, Morocco, Egypt, Kenya, Bahrain, India, USA, Philippines, Sudan, Turkey, France, Spain, Canada, and Russia, for a print sale, of which 100 percent of the proceeds (less printing/packaging costs) will be donated to the Lebanese Red Cross. 

Image by Omar Sfeir, 2019. As Sfeir photographed Lebanon’s October Revolution and captured its surreal moments, he was reminded of the work of Belgian surrealist artist Rene Magritte. His work pays homage to Magritte’s painting, “The Lovers”, but with a distinctly Lebanese feel.

The online print sale begins Monday, 10th of August 6 at 8PM Beirut time and 11AM New York time, lasting for two weeks, ending on August 26th at midnight Beirut time.   

Image by Myriam Boulos, 2020. Ahmad takes a break to pray in Mar Mikhael. He is part of a Palestinian association that is helping the victims of the explosion

Collected works range from contributions by independent Lebanese artists and the Beirut Center of Photography, to works by artists from the region (Levant, Gulf, North Africa) as well as contributions by members of NOOR, Magnum and the international community beyond. 

Live With It by Sima Ajlyakin, 2018

Printed on archival fine art paper, they will be open editions sized at 10×15” (25x38cms) at US$ 135 + shipping, and will be dispatched globally from Gulf Photo Plus in Dubai. Please visit the sale here

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Lizzy Vartanian Collier is a London-based writer and curator. She is the founder of Gallery Girl - a London-based curatorial platform and website dedicated to modern and contemporary art from across the globe. Her work is primarily focused on supporting emerging female artists from the Middle East and the Caucasus. She has written for Canvas Magazine, Harper's Bazaar Arabia, Ibraaz, Jdeed Magazine, Suitcase and Vice Arabia among other publications. Her exhibitions in London and Armenia have been featured in Vogue Arabia, The Art Newspaper, The Art Gorgeous and numerous other news outlets. Gallery Girl has also spoken in the UK, UAE and Belgium about the contemporary art scene in the MENA region, and is planning further events in London and Amman.

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