One of my research projects is based on an extended stay in Burj al-Shamali, a Palestinian refugee camp southeast of Tyre, in South Lebanon, where I lived between 2006 and 2011, and have worked for the last ten years. During this time I developed and collected – mostly in collaboration with camp residents – an extensive archive of photographs, videos and audio recordings. The aim of my research project is to explore how the experience of loss and traumashapes people’s relation to photographs, as objects of affective attachment, and to photographic practice, in terms of production, perception and usage.
I consider my work to be an ongoing process rather than a finished form, one that creates a social dynamic based on my gestures as an artist and their impact on the environment in which I work. It is a form of reflexive practice, which is not necessarily bound to the immediate output of an object or the production of knowledge. In this respect, my interest has been in developing a methodology that blurs disciplinary boundaries, interweaving theory with practice, subjectivity and objectivity.
The second project I have been working on in collaboration with Rozenn Quéré during the residency in Ouessant is entitled ‘Vies possibles et imaginaires’. It was rewarded the Vevey International Photo Award and was published at the Editions Photosynthèses in Arles, in September 2012.
Based on interviews the text of this work was entirely composed in Ouessant, along with the editing of photographs.
The isolation of Ouessant has been crucial for our focused productivity during the month of our residency and the stimulating conversations with the ‘Ouessantines’ and ‘Ouessantains’ created an essential critical perspective on our work process. The horizon is what left its imprint in our work.