Dalieh, the Threatened Shore

From January 30 until December 20, 2020,
Alice Mogabgab – Beirut presents:
365 photos by Houda Kassatly
From the End of Civil War till the Hirak, the Abused Heritage; Architecture, Environment, Refugees.

Arabic version (PDF) French version (PDF) English version (PDF)

Paying tribute to Houda Kassatly and her committed work is an act of faith in the rebirth of Lebanon. Since her beginnings in photography (1978), the artist took on her to highlight Lebanon’s cultural and environmental heritage, both under constant bullying and degradation.

Since 1995 Alice Mogabgab – Beirut accompanied the artist in her many fights against orchestrated amnesia, against overwhelming and devastating corruption, against massive destructions of the heritage; all scourges that dominated the daily lives of Lebanese in past three decades. It is a fact that the work of this artist constitutes an essential testimony, on both scientific and artistic level; a work that deeply question, challenge and disturb a public, surrendered to the euphoria of reconstruction.

From the End of the Civil War until the Hirak, the abused heritage; architecture, environment, refugees. In 365 photos, spread into five exhibitions, throughout the year, Houda Kassatly revisits the architectural and handworker splendors of Beirut and Trablous; the ecological wealth of remote Lebanese regions to Dalieh site in Beirut, the tragedy of Palestinian and Syrian refugees in their dreadful daily life, in Lebanon camps.

Houda Kassatly’s photos are stripped of all artifice. The natural light cherishes and preserves the human dimension of the subject; whether it is a paysage, a still life or a portrait. The strict framing accentuates and renders the beauty of the subject with a splendid accuracy. In each and every work, time is suspended, so the moment preserves the memory of the land, its people and their traditions.

Five exhibitions:
January 30 – March 21: Dalieh the Threatened Shore.
April 14 – May 23: Refugee’s Camps, the Unsustainable Precariousness. Online Exhibition.
June 23 – July 25: Tripoli of the Orient; Plural City.
September 15 – October 31: Sacred Trees, Sacrificed Trees. (Cancelled after the Beirut Blast.)
November 10 – December 26: Beirut the Iconography of an Absence. (Cancelled after the Beirut Blast.)

Houda Kassatly, born in Beirut in 1960, graduated with a DEA in Philosophy from the University of Paris I Pantheon – Sorbonne in 1984. In 1987, she completed a doctoral thesis in Ethnology and Comparative Sociology at the University of Paris X – Nanterre. In 1986, back in her hometown, her professional life was devoted to research and photography; she was an international expert on the European MEDINA project, a researcher attached to the University of Balamand and the Interdisciplinary Memory Research Unit at Saint-Joseph University, as well as an associate researcher at the CERMOC (Centre d’Etudes sur le Moyen-Orient Contemporain). For ten years, she was responsible for the Information-Communication, Capitalization and now the culture program of ‘arcenciel’, an association working for sustainable development.

Her training in ethnology sharpens her eye on social traditions, architectural heritage, environment and day to day life. This training goes hand in hand with photography, which she has been practicing and perfecting since her teens, making her the first female artist-photographer in Lebanon. In 1987, the photo library (phototèque) of the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris acquired a hundred of her photographs. In 1992 the Institut du Monde Arabe hosted her first personal exhibition. Since then, Houda Kassatly’s photographic works have been regularly exhibited in galleries and art centres in Beirut and Europe.

About the artist

Thursday, January 30, 6.00 pm
Launching of the year Houda Kassatly at Alice Mogabgab – Beirut with a roundtable on the abused heritage, with participation:
Dr. Nadine Panayot Haroun, moderator: Material and immaterial heritage through natural and cultural components.
M. Levon Nordiguian: Beirut and its Houses.
Dr. Yasmine Makaroun Bou Assaf: Houda Kassatly’s work in Trablous context.
Dr. Jad Chaaban: Environment Destruction, Bankruptcy Construction.


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