Sponsored by Byblos Bank, whose annual Byblos Bank Award for photography helps support emerging Lebanese photographers, Selections takes a look at three young Lebanese photographers who are producing consistently compelling series
In 2014, Myriam Boulos won the Byblos Bank Award for her series Nightshift, which was shot in and around Lebanon’s nightclubs and encapsulated the energy and individualism of the city’s party scene. The same series was exhibited in 2015, at Byblos Bank Headquarters, as part of Boulos’ prize for winning the Byblos Bank Award. Since then, the young photographer has gone from strength to strength; taking part in Temporary Art Platform’s Ras Masqa Art Residency this spring and producing a fascinating reciprocal series entitled The Mold That We Melt In with the inhabitants of the village.
Ayla Hibri is something of a nomad. She has spent the past ten years travelling to new cities and immersing herself in alien cultures to experience life as an outsider, but always ultimately returning to Beirut. From stunning photographs shot on the streets of Yemen, to powerful images of Turkey’s 2013 Gezi Park protests, to documentary-style images of life in suburban America, her work is always insightful and revealing.
Lara Zankoul, one of the finalists of the Byblos Bank Award in 2012, fell in love with photography as a child, poring over the photos in fashion magazines. Today, she creates elaborate sets that allow her to create magical, dreamlike imagery, from moody fairy tale scenes shot in an old Lebanese house, where figures levitate above the tiles, to The Unseen, a surreal series featuring models in evening wear shot partially underwater, some with the heads of animals.
By Irene McConnell
A version of this article appeared in print in Selections, The Urban Art Issue #37, pages 88-90.