Launching of the 4th edition of Photomed Liban.

Three themes in the spotlight: Beirut, cinema and the poetry of ruins

A press conference was held at Le Gray, Beirut to launch the 4th edition of Photomed. Under the patronage of the Lebanese Ministry of Tourism, the Festival is co-organized by the Lebanese Tourism Office in Paris. Byblos Bank is the main partner of the Festival.

The press conference was held in the presence of H.E. Mr. Francois Barras, Swiss ambassador, Véronique Aulagnon, Director of the Institut français du Liban, Edoardo Crisafulli, Cultural Attaché and Director of the Italian Cultural Institute in Lebanon, Nada Tawil, Head of Group Communication Department at Byblos Bank, Gordon Campbell Gray, founder and chairman of CampbellGray Hotels, Philippe Heullant, President of Photomed, Serge Akl, Vice-President of Photomed and Director of the Lebanese Tourism Office in Paris, Tony El Hage, Treasurer of Photomed, Guillaume de Sardes, Artistic Director of Photomed Liban, and in the presence of the participating international & Lebanese photographers, as well as partners, sponsors, and the media.

From January 18 until February 8, 2017, Photomed will feature the work of international & Lebanese photographers who portray the Mediterranean region through their own eyes. The Festival is taking place at the following venues: Le Gray, Beirut (Martyr’s Square), Byblos Bank Headquarters (Ashrafieh), D BEIRUT (Bourj Hammoud Seaside Road), Institut français du Liban (Damascus Road), and STATION (Jisr El Wati).

Three themes are featured in this 4th edition: cinema, the city of Beirut, and the poetry of ruins. It is also the occasion to give a tribute to the late French photographer Marc Riboud and to the Franco-Moroccan photographer Leila Alaoui who was killed a year ago today during the attack in Ouagadougou.

Philippe Heullant, stated: “Since the beginning, Photomed’s goal has remained the same: to show the public photographs that are at once demanding and capable of reaching a broad audience, while also giving a sensitive and positive image of the Mediterranean. For us, this is about helping to bring people of different countries together through the art of photography, which is universal.”

Serge Akl declared: “We are happy to organize the 4th edition of Photomed, the Festival that highlights Lebanese photography within the Mediterranean”, adding that: “Photomed Liban has become a renowned photography festival in the Middle East with its rich program and the increasing number of its visitors. Photomed also gives the Lebanese photographers the opportunity to meet foreign photographers participating in the event, as well as exchanging experiences and, who knows, developing new collaborations.”

Nada Tawil, said: “Byblos Bank is honoured to host a collective exhibition celebrating the greatness of Italian cinema through the works of world-renowned photographers Richard Dumas, Alain Fleisher and Sergio Strizzi.” She added: “This exhibition along with the two Italian movie nights we are hosting, will offer Lebanese photography amateurs and professionals the opportunity to get a first-hand look at the image treatment during the golden age of Italian Cinema. We hope this experience will inspire them and help broaden their perspective.”

During the conference, the European Union Prize for Portfolio Readings within Photomed 2016 was handed to photographer Cyrille Karam for her work "The Blind Hunt".

The press conference was followed by the opening of the exhibition of Nicole Herzog-Verrey at Le Gray, Beirut.

Photomed 2017 Program

At Le Gray, Beirut we discover with "Défi de la Pierre" the photographic encounter of Nicole Herzog-Verrey with Lebanon.

At Byblos Bank Headquarters, Photomed celebrates Italian cinema with the exhibition of photographers Alain Fleischer "Cinecittà", Richard Dumas "Suite Méditerranéenne", and Sergio Strizzi "Sur les tournages d'Antonioni".

At D BEIRUT, Wassim Ghozlani presents «Postcards from Tunisia», Ferran Freixa «Comme le Temps Passe», Nick Hannes «Fausses Sirènes et Vrais Naufrages», and producer Danielle Arbid « Exotic Girls ». Also at D BEIRUT, the following galleries will showcase the works of Lebanese photographers that they represent: Galerie Agial with Clara Abi Nader, Galerie Alice Mogabgab with Maria Chakhtoura, Galerie Janine Rubeiz with Rania Matar et François Sargologo, Galerie Tanit with Gilbert Hage, The Alternative with Michel Zoghzoghi. Lebanese galleries have long carried out significant and constant efforts to raise awareness and to promote photography in Lebanon.

At the Institut français du Liban, Christine Alaoui presents «Blended», a very personal journey where she captures moments that convey both emotion and a sense of timelessness. The exhibited photographs were selected and retouched by her daughter Leila Alaoui, before she died in Ouagadougou. Leila Alaoui is in a way the posthumous curator of this exhibition. With Marc Riboud we discover with «Au Gré des Voyages» his travels around the Mediterranean in the early 1950s.

At STATION, George Awde presents «Paths Within Edges», Giulio Rimondi «Beirut Nocturne», Lara Tabet «Roseaux», and Bilal Tarabey, 1st prize Photomed Liban/Institut français contest winner in 2016, presents « Le Retour» which documents his return to Lebanon and shows how photography was for him a means of reappropriating the city; and finally a projection of the Gagnants LensCulture.