Hashem El Madani’s photographs document the residents of the southern Lebanese city of Saïda, where he has lived and worked for over sixty years. El Madani’s collection of over one million images charts the function of the studio portrait as an item of intrinsic value as well as a telling record of social identity and status.

In El Madani’s studio, individuals could portray themselves the way they wished to be seen, assuming various identities, showing off, posing with accessories and props, or acting out characters. The photographer’s collection was recently unearthed by the Arab Image Foundation, which was founded in 1997 by artists Fouad Elkoury, Samer Mohdad, and Akram Zaatari with the goal of preserving and researching photographic collections in the Arab world. Zaatari went on to create the Madani Project, a series of exhibitions, publications, and videos focusing on El Madani’s career. The project examines the ways in which his archive creates a shifting collective portrait of his community, illuminating social, political, and economic aspects of Lebanese society in the flux of time.

Here and Elsewhere" is on view through September 28.

Images: Courtesy the artist and Sfeir-Semler Gallery, Beirut/Hamburg


From writer/director Stuart Murdoch (lead singer of beloved indie pop group Belle & Sebastian) comes the most delightfully different musical of the year. Eve (Emily Browning) is a catastrophe—low on self-esteem but high on fantasy, especially when it comes to music.

Over the course of one Glasgow summer, she meets two similarly rootless souls: posh Cass (Hannah Murray of Game of Thrones) and fastidious James (Olly Alexander), and together they decide there’s only one thing to do: form a pop group.

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