“Refugees’ Camps in Lebanon, the Unsustainable Precarity” by Houda Kassatly is the first online exhibition of the Alice Mogabgab Gallery.
Originally planned at the gallery’s Beirut premises, it will take place virtually from April 14 to May 23, 2020 on the website and will feature a set of 100 photographs taken by Kassatly between 2012 and 2019 in various camps in Lebanon.
Through landscapes, interior scenes, still lives and portraits, the exhibition tackles the major themes of life inside the camps: from the architecture to daily life of refugees, from the identity of the populations to their uncertain future.
Born in Beirut in 1960, Kassatly graduated with a DEA in Philosophy from the University of Paris I Pantheon – Sorbonne in 1984. In 1987, she completed a doctoral thesis in Ethnology and Comparative Sociology at the University of Paris X – Nanterre. In 1986, back in her hometown, her professional life was devoted to research and photography; she was an international expert on the European MEDINA project, a researcher attached to the University of Balamand and the Interdisciplinary Memory Research Unit at Saint-Joseph University, as well as an associate researcher at the CERMOC (Centre d’Etudes sur le Moyen-Orient Contemporain). For 10 years, she was responsible for the Information-Communication, Capitalization and now the culture program of ‘arcenciel’, an association working for sustainable development.
Her training in ethnology sharpens her eye on social traditions, architectural heritage, environment and day-to-day life. This training goes hand in hand with photography, which she has been practicing and perfecting since her teens, making her the first female artist-photographer in Lebanon. In 1987, the photo library (phototèque) of the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris acquired a hundred of her photographs. In 1992 the Institut du Monde Arabe hosted her first personal exhibition. Since then, Houda Kassatly’s photos have been regularly exhibited in galleries and art centers in Beirut and Europe.