On February 20, Beirut Center of Photography, in collaboration with Art Nub Beirut, will launch the first talk of the year, ‘Lebanon, USA: The Sequel’ by Lebanese photographer Fadi Boukaram.
Having endured the horrid civil war in Beirut, photographer Fadi Boukaram fled to the United States in 2005 to complete his post-graduate studies. While conducting a simple google search of his country, Fadi was surprised when he uncovered over 45 cities, towns, and villages, that are also called ‘Lebanon’.
Actively researching these areas, Fadi discovered that in 1955, president Camille Chamoun invited seven mayors and representatives from the Lebanons of Indiana, Ohio, Oregon, Missouri, New Hampshire, Nebraska, and Tennessee for a two-week visit in Beirut.
Offered by the first lady at that time Zalfa Chamoun, each of these representatives were presented with a medallion and sapling of a cedar tree which would be planted in all seven regions.
Triggered by several incidents that reminded him about his childhood fears, the former engineer and tax consultant Boukaram quit his job and set out on a journey he had been considering for over a decade.
Intrigued by the history and relationship with America and Lebanon, Boukaram embarked on his long-anticipated visit. Traveling across the USA between October 2016, and March 2017, Fadi’s search of the different Lebanon’s as well as the location of the cedar trees allowed him to immerse himself with different cultures and perspectives.
Realizing that the cedar trees he was looking for were either fumigated or nonexistent, Fadi decided to venture off on a similar journey in 2018 with the intention of replanting the trees as an emblem of his country.
Combining photographs, and captivating narratives of individuals he met along the way, Boukaram’s body of work ‘Lebanon, USA’ was finally complete. Resulting in an exclusive reportage, and the planting of trees in Lebanons of Tennessee, Ohio, New Hampshire, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Nebraska, and the one in Oregon to be planted by the mayor next Spring.
‘Lebanon, USA: the Sequel’ a talk by Fadi Boukaram will take place on February 20, at Art Nub Beirut. The discussion will run from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM. Seats being limited, please make reservations by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org.