From spontaneous photography of locals in Beirut to visually pleasing pictures of architecture and alleyways, Lebanese photographer Marie-Noelle Fattal’s photography exhibition is every art-lovers’ dream come true.
Fattal’s exhibition Ephémères in Beyt Mar Mikhael is presenting four series that aim to send the audience back to the past life of Gemmayze and Mar Mikhael, showcasing the everyday charm and character that the area is working hard to regain after the port’s blast.
“This exhibition was conceived as a tribute to Gemmayze, Mar Mikhael, and their inhabitants, the majority of the photographs on display having been taken in this area,” Fattal told Executive Bulletin.
“The exhibition was also born out of my desire not to end 2020 on a note of resignation,” she added.
Through her four series – Waiting, Of Dogs and Humans, Free Walls, and 12th Floor – the photographer does not exhibit a romanticized Beirut or a destroyed Beirut, but a raw Beirut where the city locals love to roam through despite all the hardships.
Fattal has been on the journey of capturing Gemmayze and Mar Mikhael for five years, but felt the need to stop after the blast.
“It’s an area that I always walk around and take pictures of. But, after the blast, I couldn’t come and see it,” Fattal said.
The Lebanese photographer admired everyone who took action to help and admitted to feeling weak and unable to help. “But through this exhibition I felt I was doing something, giving a little contribution and saying we’re going to resist and continue in the areas we love,” she added.
In 2017, the Lebanese photographer published Beirut Footsteps, her first photography book depicting her love and hate relationship with Beirut.
However, in Ephémères, she takes it up a notch, capturing the hidden beauty of everyday life with a warm touch to remind Lebanese people of the incomparable charm of this city.
Beyt Mar Mikhael, the cultural space hosting the exhibition alongside their cafe and shop selling local artists’ work, chose to commemorate their survival of the blast with a new piece of wall art.