“Pierced Memories” covers history going back to the time of my grandparents, shows life in my country at the time of peace, its traditions and customs and the darker times of wars. When I came to London, I arrived with negatives and transparencies that I managed to bring with me from Lebanon. This was just a part of a much larger archive of photographs I collected and took over the years as a photojournalist.
The war in Lebanon started in 1975. I followed the course of it in Beirut, mountains surrounding my home city of Baalbeck and in the South. I reported with my camera and a pen. Religious conflict caused the beginning of what became a long civil war. The Palestinians were used as an excuse, when in my opinion, it was all about the politics of Al Kataeb party. The truth was buried somewhere amongst the arguments of the rich and the people in power who were controlling the situation in Lebanon, taking freedom of speech and the rights of the poor away. Lebanon was surrounded by a lot of different countries, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, which made the situation worse. The war in Lebanon is not finished. There were numerous talks, and attempts to end the conflict, but the war continues – in a different form, with political conflict still haunting the people and causing suffering.
Text by Diab Alkarssifi, 2010
A selection of images from the archive.
Individual stories from Diab’s collection are in the process of being edited and will be posted here on regular basis.