Last Day: September 27, 2014

A Lebanese Archive: Inspired by the collection of Diab Alkarssifi The book will present for the first time the work and collection of former photojournalist Diab Alkarssifi. Arriving in the UK in 1993, after emigrating from Lebanon, Diab met Ania at Arlington House, a hostel for homeless men, where Ania was running a photography workshop and Diab was temporarily living. Invited to Ania’s studio, he arrived with two carrier bags, containing thousands of photographic prints, and negatives, part of a life-long collection, including his numerous photographic assignments, everyday life in his home city of Baalbeck on the Syrian border and in Beirut, his student years in the early 1970s in Moscow and Budapest and, most extraordinarily his collection of found images from studios in Baalbeck, Beirut, Damascus and Cairo – photographs of society, family and friends, and Arab life in Lebanon, Palestine, Kuwait, Egypt, Syria and Iraq, that he passionately accumulated over his lifetime. These images, all that survives of a much larger collection still hidden or lost in Lebanon, gives an intimate insight into the cultural, everyday and political history of this region, from 1993 to as far back as 1889. Along with Book Works and the Arab Image Foundation, Ania and Diab want to bring this extraordinary collection to life, to preserve a view of modern Arab history, tell the stories that accompany the images, and present an otherwise lost view of this huge, diverse and fascinating region.

This kickstarter campaign offers you the opportunity to take part in this project by investing in a book that will celebrate this incredible collection and to receive one of several rewards/offers including unique artworks, limited editions by Diab Alkarssifi and Ania Dabrowska.

A Lebanese Archive will comprise of photographs from the archival collection and new works by Ania Dabrowska, punctuated by an exchange between Dabrowska and Alkarssifi on the differences and similarities in their own cultural and political histories. It includes texts on archives in visual art practice, the contemporary cultural context of Lebanon and the Middle East, and the materiality of photographic archives.

As much of the modern heritage in Lebanon has been lost in recent history, the book is important as a lasting legacy of this unique photographic collection. It also charts the story of a chance encounter between two people for whom photography has shaped their lives as an instrument of affirming and discovering of cultural identity.

The book will be edited and co-published in English by Book Works and the Arab Image Foundation, and designed by Kelly Weedon, with a publication date of March 2015.

All backers will have their names listed within the book and on the project website: www.lebanesearchive.co.uk

Click here to back up the project now.