From Abandoned Spaces
Photo-Festivals has chosen Dalia Khamissy as their Crossing Point photographer-in-residence for this years Visa Pour L'image. The residency is in partnership with Photo Forum Beirut which was set up with Beirut's Zico House. Crossing Point residency was created to offer a photographer the opportunity to participate in a European festival for the first time in his or her career.

Khamissy's work tends to revolve around the social and political situations in the Middle East. Her most well known work is Abandoned Spaces.  According to Khamissy, "Summer 2007, I visited the damaged area in the south of Lebanon for the first time since the beginning of the war, almost a year after, wanting to see what had happened. I entered houses and mosques destroyed by the war; in few seconds the war had turned public what was once private. The furniture left behind witnessed of thousands of stories and memories of people who once lived there. In my Abandoned Spaces I aimed at documenting the peace I found in every house or mosque I entered even amongst the chaos. I wanted to shoot the space and give it back its dignity."

Khamissy's work-in-progress is 17,000 Missing: A Nation in Denial. When she was seven years old, her father was kidnapped -and thankfully set free three days later. That was not the case with thousands of others though during Lebanon's fifteen year civil war. Khammissy writes, "My project will focus on documenting the story of the “missing” in all its aspects; by visiting families of the kidnapped from various sects and backgrounds, documenting their lives and ongoing struggle and sit-in, taking pictures of the preserved belongings of their missing. I want to document the locations of mass graves that were stated in some reports or admitted by ex-militants who told their stories; landscapes in the mountain, the capital, the cities and villages around… Even the Mediterranean Sea was used as a silent mass grave."

Like so many others in this region, Khamissy does not yet have a website. Fortunately, her work is being seen and her stories are being told, in such hallowed halls as Conscientious, Bite magazine, and through the efforts of the good people at Photo-Festivals among many others. At the end of her Crossing Point residency in a few days, GMEP will publish an interview with Khamissy where she will discuss her work, herself, and her country.
From 17,000 Missing: A Nation in Denial
From Abandoned Spaces

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