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Zaatari, Akram
Akram Zaatari (born 1966 in Saida, Lebanon) lives in Beirut. He is the author of more than 30 video and photo/video installations and has been exploring issues pertinent to the postwar condition, particularly the inscription of sexual, social, and national identities, and the mediation of territorial conflicts and wars through television. Increasingly, Zaatari’s work concerns itself with the escalation, evolution, and mediation of myths. He has worked on the logic of religious and national resistance in his documentary “All is Well on the Border” (1997), and on the circulation and production of images in the context of a geographical division of the Middle East in his feature length “This Day” (2003) and “In This House” (2005).
In 1997 in Beirut Akram Zaatari co-founded the Arab Image Foundation and based his work on collecting, studying and archiving the photographic history of the Middle East. Notably, he dedicated much study to the archive of Lebanese photographer Hashem el Madani (born in 1928) as a register of social relationships and photographic practices. His ongoing research, based on the photographic history of the Middle East, resulted in a series of exhibitions and publications such as “Hashem El Madani: Studio Practices”, together with Lisa Lefeuvre, or “Mapping Sitting” in collaboration with Walid Raad. “The photographs and videos of Akram Zaatari make us mistrust the information conveyed to us through politically commissioned sources. [...] His work makes it evident that the Lebanon of the past 30 years, and in particular the Lebanon of war, still produces documents that demonstrate what it means to be confronted with the physical, social, and political dimension of war. The continued manifestation of these documents brings forth questions, both seen and heard, of how meaning is deciphered”. (Walid Raad)
Zaatari has published work for critical and scholarly journals such as Third Text, Parachute,
Framework, Transition, Bomb, Al-Adaab, and Al-Nahar, and is a regular contributor, writing on video, to Zawaya. He has taught at the American University of Beirut, IESAV, and at St. Esprit University in Kaslik, Lebanon.

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