BEIRUT AS IT COULD HAVE BEEN
When he started taking pictures of Beirut in 1960 (and he did so up until the outbreak of the Lebanon war in 1975), Waddah Faris inadvertently created a mirror that would, many years later, link that golden past with the urgency of the modern era.
Faris, originally Iraqi and born in Syria, is a graphic designer, photographer, painter and former gallerist. He had almost forgotten about his old photos until he came upon them by chance, after they’d been left to gather dust for nearly half a century. These evocative images are now on display are Saleh Barakat Gallery in Clemenceau, in an exhibit titled “Beirut, The City of the World’s Desires: The Chronicles of Waddah Faris (1960-1975).” There are candid portraits of Faris’ friends, glimpses of art shows at the Sursock Museum, peeks at Hamra’s mythic Horseshoe Café and other haunting images that serve as a commentary on an unrealized past, while providing a glimpse into Beirut’s potential future.
Beirut Sea Front
Old vegetable souk, Beirut
Feature image: Renée Deek at Horseshoe Café, 1974
Until July 29, salehbarakatgallery.com