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Exhibition by UMAM D&R
The «War» through its Memorials
Photo Exhibition in Progress
الحرب في أنصابها وشواهدها

معرض قيد الإنشــــــــاء
Jun 12 - 29, 2009 @ The Hangar - Beirut


On May 10, 2009, on the first anniversary of a round of inter-Lebanese violence, one political party (although it could have been any other) took upon itself the task of inaugurating a memorial statue erected in one of Akkar’s village squares honoring the "martyrs" who had fallen "victim" to a "massacre" during this particular hostility.
 
What perhaps captures one’s curiosity the most is the memorial’s recentness, and that of the massacre it commemorated, for it was merely one year prior that the incident occurred. Upon reading the date etched on the memorial, a casual observer might wonder with a certain naivety: "But isn’t the war in Lebanon over? Didn’t that war end twenty years ago?" According to this monument, and those like it, the answer is "no," or at least, "not entirely."
 
If we believe the words engraved on this memorial, we should also acknowledge that the terminology of the war is alive and well. Was what happened in Halba on May 10, 2008, a "massacre?" It is certain that there is no unanimous agreement on the answers to these questions. If this were the case, the memorial would have been placed in the vicinity of the incident that it attempts to immortalize, and not in a secondary site.

Questions arise and multiply along these lines, whether they are raised by a lofty monument erected in a prominent location of Beirut in commemoration of one of its dignitaries, or by a modest monument erected in a distant village in an attempt to save an obscure "martyr" from oblivion. In short, these monuments are part of the public dialogue, albeit in abstraction.

Photos: Wael Hamzeh
This exhibition was part of the What Is to Be Done? Lebanon's War-Loaded Memory initiative and made possible thanks to funding from the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation and Development (AECID).

Photo Gallery
From the Opening
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