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Live, Love, Refugee
My project “Live, Love, Refugee” approaches the mental state of Syrian refugees in Lebanon, asking how relations and dreams are affected by conflict and displacement. It is a visual evocation of the pain and desire of Syrians who struggle to survive in their new land.
The people I met are in the worst possible conditions and nightmares, but they have ability and desire to continue being human.
I chose to make complex photographs with many layers, employing symbolism and surrealism, in an attempt to approach the psychological situation of my character/subjects.
I wanted to disrupt the audience’s expectations of images of refugees and to give them question more than answers.
For me this is the best way to express these horrible experiences because it gives viewers the ability to imagine horrifying and over-imaged (but under-seen) cases like the Syrian situation, when every related story is a copy of a copy of a copy. I like to shock the audience without being aggressive, avoiding the easy fruit of political reaction and focusing instead on the deeper human perspective.
"Psychologically, mentally, emotionally, it's on lockdown for all of us", Diana, 24 from Damascus, residing in Qatar.
A group of young Syria women, who grew up together, left to Beirut before the outbreak of the civil war to study in Lebanese universities. Their plan was always to return to Syria, to their families and find jobs. As the civil war unfolded, their plans to return to their homeland faded. After they graduated, their tight group had been broken into fragments that would be places in different countries. This story focuses on the psychological effects of losing your homeland, and the difficulty of adapting to a new country.
Perspectives on exile and the inner landscapes of those who have lost their native homes. Natalie Naccache, Lebanon, and Omar Imam, Syria. 10 - 20 Sept. 2015, Photoville, New York.