'plaintext' in an espionage world & language is a text before or after encryption. Therefore it should be easily readable. After it becomes encrypted the message is obscure and unreadable without a key. 'plaintext' is a project that spies on me, my feelings, and tries to decode my relationship to Lebanon.
For 10 months I had been receiving Whats App messages on my cell phone while working in an international organization. These messages, vaguely called security updates, arrived several times a day and marked a completely different way of living my life in Lebanon from what I experienced before and after. I decided to look at them closely, read into their codes and keys, and try to relate them to Lebanon that I know.
At first glance the messages seem plain and clear but in reality they conceal in the open the very codes that make Lebanon what it is. On the other hand my photographs are personal, nostalgic, at times absurd. They relate to traces, objects, landscapes, forming a notebook or a diary. At times touristic in their nature, taken by someone who knows the country very well but still is, in essence, a foreigner ('a spy'), the photos delve deeper into the tissue of Lebanese spirit, but more importantly into my own perceptions and projections. My photographs are personal, nostalgic, at times absurd. This project evolves as well around notions of post-conflict discourse, political geography, and art as 'spying' & 'stealing' to create a new narrative.
The project has as well an audio piece and a video component (link & more information on request).
'plaintext' was shown in a finalist exhibition at OBSCURA Festival of Photography in George Town, Penang, Malaysia from 25th to 31st of August 2018.
OBSCURA FESTIVAL 2018
The project is also being reworked with Vanessa Winship's comments for a photobook.