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How beautiful is Panama! A photographic conversation from Burj al-Shamali camp

Initiated by Yasmine Eid-Sabbagh and Simon Lourié
Produced by the Arab Image Foundation and with the support of the Prince Claus Fund, Beirut May 2008
Distributed with the support of the OSI Documentary Distribution Grant
Lebanon, Jordan, and Syria April – September 2009

Studying the relationship between photography and visual memory, this is a long-term, two-part research project in Burj al Shamali, a refugee camp southeast of Sur whose residents come primarily from northern Palestine. The first part involves running a workspace where young people make, edit and discuss photography. The second part involves gathering material from family albums and commercial studios. In this case, photographs are borrowed, digitized, annotated and returned. The work of an artist concerned with the effects of her own practice, this research project has led to an exhibition that doubles as a public installation.

“How Beautiful Is Panama!” features the work of seven photographers – Ali al Ali, Ahmad al Khalil, Susan al Khatib, Mohammad Amiuny, Yasser Ibrahim, Nisreen Musherfieh and Fatmeh Soleiman – who turned the exhibition into an inventive public installation that toured two venues and five camps in Lebanon and Jordan.

Ali al-Ali: 49 C-prints  of 10x15 cm, 6 C-prints  of 18x27cm, 13 C-prints  of 20x30cm , 13 C-prints  of 10x15cm, 9 C-prints  of 15x21cm, 4 C-prints  of 18x27cm and  6 C-prints  of 20x30cm
Mohamad Amuniy: 6 C-prints  of 20x30 cm
Yasser Ibrahim:    14 C-prints  of  30x45cm, 6 C-prints  of 20x30cm /and C-print of 40x60cm
Ahmad al-Khalil: 16 C-prints  of 30x45cm, 8 C-prints of 20x30cm
Susan al-Khatib: 24 C-prints  of 15x21cm and  36 C-prints  of 15x21 cm
Nesreen Musherfih : 12 C-prints  of 30x45cm
Fatmeh Soleiman: 4 C-prints  of 40x60 cm and 16 C-prints  of 30x45 cm

Venues & public displays

Burj al-Barajneh Camp
Beirut, Lebanon, August 2009
website venue photos
Beddawi Camp
Tripoli, Lebanon, August 2009
website venue photos
Al-Bass Camp
Tyre, Lebanon, June 2009
website venue photos
Burj al-Shamali Camp
Tyre, Lebanon, October 2007
website venue photos
Chobi Mela, International Festival of Photography
Dhaka, Bangladesh, January 2009
website venue photos
UMAM Documentation & Research
Beirut, Lebanon, May 2008
website venue photos
Makan House of Expression
Amman, Jordan, April 2009
website venue photos
Al-Husun camp
Irbid, Jordan, April 2009
website venue photos