Live, Love, Limbo: Omar Imam and Natalie Naccache on the Inner Landscapes of Exile
Monday, September 21
Copresented by Magnum Foundation, Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (AFAC), and Aperture Foundation, photographers Omar Imam and Natalie Naccache will give a talk about their recent long-term projects made in their home countries of Syria and Lebanon, respectively.
Imam’s Live, Love, Refugee attempts to approach the psychological situation of Syrian refugees in Lebanon. He works with his subjects to recreate their dreams, experiences, and yearnings, showing what is under-seen in a conflict saturated with images. Naccache’s Our Limbo traces a group of women, all from Damascus, now dispersed throughout six different countries after graduating from university in Beirut. Through documentary photographs, shared journals, video, and personal ephemera, Naccache’s collaborative approach reveals the difficulty of adapting to a new country and the burden of guilt associated with the safety and comfort that relative wealth affords.
Their stories are not about statistics or politics, but rather about the individuals caught in between. Disrupting the viewers’ expectations of images of refugees, their distinct perspectives offer powerful insights into the condition of exile.
Both Imam and Naccache are 2014 grantees of the Arab Documentary Photography Program, established in partnership with Magnum Foundation, AFAC, and the Prince Claus Fund to stimulate compelling work by Arab photographers working across a range of experimental styles of storytelling.
Image: Omar Imam, “There was only grass. I couldn’t pass it through my throat, but I forced myself to swallow it in front of the children so they would accept it as food.”