PRINT May 2015

Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige

Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige, Latent Images, Drawer of Films (Extracts), Films from 4/11/98 to 11/04/99 (#809-956), 1997–2006, C-print, 18 1/2 × 22 7/8". From “Wonder Beirut,” 1997–2006.

FOR TEN YEARS, between 1997 and 2006, we took photographs of our daily life in Beirut. We never developed these images, however; instead, we wrote descriptions of each snapshot in a series of notebooks, creating a photographic diary that could be read but not seen. It was an attempt to capture the feeling of latency that haunted Beirut, an effort to show the complexity of the city, the density of situations, the aftermath of the war and its consequences for representation.

We took the photos under the guise of a fictional character named Abdallah Farah. The project is therefore a kind of journal—his journal—one that narrates his life and our history, the disappearance of argentic photography, the politics and society of Beirut.

We stopped producing these “Latent Images” (which belonged to a larger project called “Wonder Beirut”) with the outbreak of the 2006 war. We realized

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