Through her book The Chariot of Farah, Carla Henoud creates a moving tribute to Beirut by weaving the story of three generations of orange juice sellers with images of beautiful moments from the Corniche.
The Beirut Corniche in many ways is the heart of the city. It is a long seafront promenade lined with palm trees where one can witness true cohabitation and tolerance. With her book The Chariot of Farah, Carla Henoud draws on her wanderings along the Corniche to weave the family tree of three generations of orange juice sellers, a moving tribute to her city that she accompanied with an exhibition of her photos at Maison Rabih Kayrouz boutique.
In the book, the Beirut Corniche serves as a backdrop, a subject and a main character. “I started going to the Corniche at all hours of the day, and taking pictures from the same place,” says Henoud. “The pictures started to tell a story, which became a kind of ambiance to the story of Farah. In the book, Farah tells the story of her father and grandfather, three generations that sell orange juice on the Corniche.”
The narrator of the book, Farah, takes over the fruit juice cart of her father Amir and his grandfather Kamal, and the photographs taken by Henoud in essence became what Farah saw every day. About the genesis of this project, the author says: “In the beginning, I was protected by my camera, and when I began to unveil myself, to mix with people, talking with divers, swimmers, runners, passers-by and regulars, I began to connect with them. They inspired me. I took pictures of them and everything around them.”
Life in Lebanon is becoming increasingly more difficult for many people and for Henoud observing life on the Corniche is a reminder of the Lebanon she loves. “It is place where everyone respects each other. It is a place where you have a young girl running with shorts and a woman in hijab walking next to her. They look at each other and smile. You have the rich and the poor, the young and old, the Muslim and Christian and it is so natural,” she explains about her love for the Corniche.
Henoud captures beautiful moments of the Corniche and of the sea through her photographs, and through the story of Farah, which creates a kind of music that stays with you long after reading the book.