The Photographic Work of Hashem el Madani
Sometimes it’s great to discover the work of an artist or photographer whose work you’re unaware of, especially if it’s coming from the least expected places.
Recently I discovered the work of Hashem el Madani, via Akram Zaatari, who has curated his photography as part of his work with the Arab Image Foundation. Madani’s a very obscure figure – a commercial photographer who started off shooting local shopkeepers, he set up his Studio Sherhazade in 1948. Over the next thirty years, his spare, unpretentious portraits would, perhaps inadvertently, provide an invaluable and haunting document of Lebanese and Palestinian life through some of their most tumultuous periods in history. Here are a selection of his images.
Abu Jalal Dimassy and Two of His Friends Acting Out a Hold-Up
Two Palestinian Sisters
Ringo – A Palestinian Resistant
All images – copyright Akram Zaatari, courtesy Hashem el Madani and The Arab Image Foundation
Zaatari’s prints of some of El Madani’s original photos will be part of his exhibition The End of Time at the Common Guild, exhibiting in conjunction with the Radical Film Network 2016.
On the 30th Aptil Carl Lavery will be presenting two films in response to Zaatari’s exhibition, Jean Genet’s transgressive classic of oppression and desire, Un Chant d’Amour, and Jean Luc Godard’s Ici et Ailleurs, a relatively rare but key film in Godard’s development as a political filmmaker, which Zaatari considers a crucial influence on his own work.
Look out for interviews with both Zaatari and Lavery on the site soon.