About this project
News: You can still pledge to support our project! We have reached our target but our Kickstarter campaign continues!
Extra funding will allow us to do so much more - it all depends on the final amount we raise. A huge thanks to all that have supported us and welcome to all new backers!
We still have a lot of amazing press and media coverage coming up, and are in the process of trying to anticipate where this will take us. With increased funds we have a lot more options for producing the book, including the possibility of increasing the print run, extent, or number of images, and really making it an exceptionally beautiful object. We have also talked with Ania and Diab about the possibility of an exhibition here in London and in Beirut, and if we manage to raise enough (can we push this to over £30,000?), perhaps, with all of your support, all of these wider ambitions can be reached. In the meantime, we're announcing a few new rewards, and will keep everyone up to date with progress and news. Check our updates page for recent news.
Thanks again for all the support, and being part of this project.
A Lebanese Archive: Inspired by the collection of Diab Alkarssifi
The book will present for the first time the work and collection of former photojournalist Diab Alkarssifi. Arriving in the UK in 1993, after emigrating from Lebanon, Diab met Ania at Arlington House, a hostel for homeless men, where Ania was running a photography workshop and Diab was temporarily living. Invited to Ania’s studio, he arrived with two carrier bags, containing thousands of photographic prints, and negatives, part of a life-long collection, including his numerous photographic assignments, everyday life in his home city of Baalbeck on the Syrian border and in Beirut, his student years in the early 1970s in Moscow and Budapest and, most extraordinarily his collection of found images from studios in Baalbeck, Beirut, Damascus and Cairo - photographs of society, family and friends, and Arab life in Lebanon, Palestine, Kuwait, Egypt, Syria and Iraq, that he passionately accumulated over his lifetime. These images, all that survives of a much larger collection still hidden or lost in Lebanon, gives an intimate insight into the cultural, everyday and political history of this region, from 1993 to as far back as 1889. Along with Book Works and the Arab Image Foundation, Ania and Diab want to bring this extraordinary collection to life, to preserve a view of modern Arab history, tell the stories that accompany the images, and present an otherwise lost view of this huge, diverse and fascinating region.
The work of Polish artist and photographer Ania Dabrowska has given new meaning to Alkarssifi’s collection and his photographic work. Her interpretation and arrangement of the archive with her own imagery and assemblages has led to a fascinating layering of the work inspired by their conversations on history, photography and personal memory. This book has taken Diab and Ania on a journey from London, to Beirut and Baalbeck, to rediscover missing parts of his collection and to understand the archival material within a present-day Lebanon.
This kickstarter campaign offers you the opportunity to take part in this project by investing in a book that will celebrate this incredible collection and to receive one of several rewards/offers including unique artworks, limited editions by Diab Alkarssifi and Ania Dabrowska.
A Lebanese Archive will comprise of photographs from the archival collection and new works by Ania Dabrowska, punctuated by an exchange between Dabrowska and Alkarssifi on the differences and similarities in their own cultural and political histories. It includes texts on archives in visual art practice, the contemporary cultural context of Lebanon and the Middle East, and the materiality of photographic archives.
As much of the modern heritage in Lebanon has been lost in recent history, the book is important as a lasting legacy of this unique photographic collection. It also charts the story of a chance encounter between two people for whom photography has shaped their lives as an instrument of affirming and discovering of cultural identity.
The book will be edited and co-published in English by Book Works and the Arab Image Foundation, and designed by Kelly Weedon, with a publication date of March 2015.
All backers will have their names listed within the book and on the project website: www.lebanesearchive.co.uk
(We’ll check with you to ensure that you want to be included.)
A number of pledges have now all been sold. However to keep the interest in this project we've release a few new rewards. Have a look at our Pledges or check out our Updates page for news of press, and new rewards
New reward! Pre-pub offer for £23.00
Pledge £55 for 'Victorious'. New reward in order to stretch our goals (more information about our ambitions on our updates page here). £55 for a signed copy of the book, with a Polaroid sized photographic insert.
Pledge £95 for an exclusive, signed and dated photographic print
New Reward! Pledge £120 for exclusive, signed edition of 'MIss Universe 1971, Georgina Rizk visiting Baalbeck, by Diab Alkarssifi, 1977'.
Pledge £225 for a unique to Kickstarter editioned photograph
Pledge £550, for a handprinted, analogue diptych
For £1,000, receive one of 3, unique framed photographic diptychs
For, £1,500 receive one of 3, unique, framed photographic triptychs
Pledge £2,500 for a personal meeting with Ania and Diab at the studio and choose your own image to be printed and framed to your specification
New reward: A bespoke edition with platinum print of your choice for £5000
Please note that this is a bespoke edition, and this is image is only a representation of the sort of tools we might use. For more information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
New! An extra special reward for private collectors, or public and institutional collections: Choose any photograph from A Lebanese Archive (from the archive or new work), printed and framed to your own specifications - £5000
Ania Dabrowska was born in 1973 in Poland, and is an artist living and working in London using photography, installation, text, sound, and video. She is interested in the impact that bringing together of different registers of time and space and different cultural identities might have on each other when re-configured in a context of new work. Her projects are often socially engaged and use participatory and collaborative methodologies.
She has exhibited in solo and group shows in the UK, Germany, USA and India since 2001. She was the winner of the Observer Hodge Photographic Award, 2003, selected for the National Portrait Gallery Photographic Portrait Award, 2007, and awarded The Wellcome Trust People Award, 2008–11. International residencies include the Ashkal Alwan residency in Beirut, 2014, SPACE artist residency at Arlington, 2010-2012, and Dharamshala International Artists Workshop, Khoj International Artists Association, Delhi, and White Crane Arts & Media, Dharamshala, India 2012.
She is currently a Lecturer at the CASS, London Metropolitan University, London, and previously has taught at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art in Oxford, 2007-10, and as a visiting lecturer at Goldsmiths College, University of London, 2006-2012. She has also worked as a workshop Facilitator and Mentor for participatory projects with international organisations since 2004 including: Free Press Unlimited, PhotoVoice, SPACE, World Vision, United Response, CAST, U-Turn Project.
Diab Alkarssifi was born in 1951 in Baalbeck, Lebanon, and is a retired photojournalist, collector and writer. In 1975 Alkarssifi moved to study Philosophy and Media in Moscow, Russia, but was interrupted by an outbreak of war in Lebanon. He worked as a journalist for 16 years for local and national media including Al Nida and Al Akhbar newspapers, New TV, and Sowt Al Shaab Radio Station. He emigrated to the UK in 1993 and has lived in London since.
Risks and challenges
Ania and Diab have the support of both Book Works and the Arab Image Foundation to publish and distribute the book in an edition of 1,000 copies, printed in full colour, 240 pages, with a soft cover, 210 x 270 mm. Both these organisations are not-for-profit and rely on funding from their supporters to collaborate and work with artists, writers and designers on their projects. We also have the support of the Arts Council England, Ashkal Alwan in Beriut and Polish Cultural Institute in London – who helped fund the research and development of the project and travel to Lebanon for Ania and Diab to date; and the expertise and support of Chamas - our printers in Beirut where the book will be produced. We have all the images and stories from the archive, and the designer and editors are in place to make an excellent book.
The risk remains that we won’t quite achieve our fundraising target, as the costs to make the book are fixed. Without your support we can’t make the high quality publication we all want to achieve.
However we remain confident with the help of this campaign and your support we can raise the necessary funding we need. Book Works has over 30 years of experience in art publishing, and in delivering art publications on budget and on time, and the Arab Image Foundation have specialist experience in the handling of archival material and heritage collections of this kind.
We have had an enthusiastic response already to the project, and hope with your help to achieve our aims.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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