Below are selected few stories from the collection of 27, 000 photographic prints and negatives covering over 100 years of political and cultural history of the Middle East (c.1889 – 1993). The collection was split up when Diab Alkarssifi immigrated to the UK in 1993 bringing as much as he could carry with him to London. It was hidden for 17 years until 2010, when he brought it to Ania Dabrowska’s studio at Arlington, a London hostel for homeless men and women, where he was resident at the time. Diab engaged in the Creative Space programme, which Ania was running as part of the SPACE Studios / Arlington residency. The idea of Lebanese Archive project was born out of this engagement process.
Photographs in the collection come from three sources:
– personal work of Diab Alkarssifi documenting family and public life in his home city of Baalbeck, including the Lebanese Civil Wars and his student years in the 70s Moscow and Budapest
– collected family albums of his extended family, friends and neighbours (photographers unknown)
– photographic studios in Beirut, Damascus and Cairo (photographers unknown).
The archive of Diab Alkarssifi’s collection will be curated by Ania Dabrowska with the Arab Image Foundation in Beirut. Due to launch in Spring 2015.