film screening
Welcome to Beirut, 2005
By Fouad Elkhoury

Tuesday 11 October 2011 | 8:00 pm

On occasion of the opening of Fouad Elkhoury's "Amman" exhibition, Darat al Funun will be screening "Welcome to Beirut", directed by the Lebanese artist in 2005.

"Welcome to Beirut is about daily life: driving in the city, going to the hairdresser, discussions with the grocer, visiting a motor show, a wax museum, dining out ... It is a driven promenade inside the city with a few open windows through which to peep in. More ironic than sarcastic, the film reveals the state of mind of a certain Lebanese society, a direct consequence of the atlas syndrome: When one opens a European atlas of the world, Lebanon is in the middle but also in the crack, central yet invisible", states the artist on his website.

Fouad Elkoury was born in 1952 in Paris. After earning a degree in architecture in 1979, Elkoury turned to photography. In 1982, he covered the Israeli invasion of Beirut. In 1986, his work on the urban landscape of Marseille developed into a sustained interest in photographing cities: Rome, Amman, Djibouti. In 1989, Elkoury joined the Rapho agency and won the Prix Medicis Hors les Murs. In 1991, he developed a series on downtown Beirut, capturing the aftermath of war. In 1997 Elkoury co-created the Beirut based Arab Image Foundation. Between 2005-2009, Elkoury developed several projects including What happened to my dreams (2008-2009), a photographic series that addresses a range of contemporary socio-political issues as a natural extension of themes he has been exploring throughout his career. El Khoury’s work has been widely exhibited at venues including Palais de Tokyo, Paris (1993); Paris Maison Européenne de la Photo, Paris (2002); Venice Biennale, Venice (2007); and Beirut Art Center, Beirut (2011).