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Artists look for photographic escape from cruel reality

Xinhua | Updated: 2022-08-20 10:12
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Artists share message of hope through the exhibition Up and Coming-Talented Photographers in eastern Beirut, Lebanon. [Photo/Xinhua]

BEIRUT - The Lebanese artist Maher Attar says he wants to convey a message of hope to viewers through a photo exhibition he organized in Beirut, the Lebanese capital he lived in and loved.

"Through images of independence, deprivation, immigration and what's left up to interpretation, my curation portrays Beirut as a woman who had endured war and hardships but never crumbled," Attar says.

The four-week exhibition, titled Up and Coming-Talented Photographers, began on Aug 9. The event is uplifting for the artists of Lebanon, mired in a deep economic slump that has forced many artists to leave the country and caused many cultural activities to be suspended.

By hosting 31 works by 10 artists at the Art District House of Photography in eastern Beirut, the exhibition represents Attar's efforts to support young Lebanese artists in showing their abilities and pursuing their artistic goals at times of difficulty.

"I believe in young people's potential and in the diversity of art and photography, and I also enjoy sharing my experience and success with the younger generation,"Attar says.

Attar, now in his 50s, started his career as a war photographer during the Lebanese Civil War from 1975 to 1990. He covered the Iran-Iraq War from 1980 to 1988, the Gulf War in 1990, and the Afghanistan War from 2001.

Participants in the exhibition are excited to display their works among Attar's wide network of artists, associates and art enthusiasts in Lebanon.

The youngest artist represented in the exhibition, Cindy Abdo, 21, says the event offers a good opportunity to network with professional photographers and increase the visibility of her works.

"Being the youngest photographer in the room and being the first to sell (artistic work) gave me a lot of motivation for the future."

Tarek Saab, an artist in his 40s, says he is excited to have his photos in the exhibition.

"People are asking for my photos. I was surprised to see people showing big interest in my works."

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