Historical Process

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    Historical Process, 1997-2006
    Part of The Story Of a Pyromaniac Photographer,
    Photographic prints on Diasec, approx. 190 × 30 cm each
  • Since the beginning of the war, Abdallah Farah methodically burned the negatives of the images from which the postcards had been edited, according to the street battles and the bombings, and following the course of the missiles and the destruction they caused, as if he was trying to match the images with his daily life. He reproduced the destructions caused to the buildings which he saw gradually disappear because of the bombings and the street battles. He acted in a highly organized and documented way, following closely the path of the bombings and destroying the negatives according to daily events. These are the “Historical processes”. They represent nowadays an attempted chronicle of certain phases of the Lebanese civil wars. Various battles were documented in this way, and mainly three armed conflicts of what is known as the “Battle of the hotels”.

    The battle of the hotels” is a conflict which occurred from 1975 to 1976, a few months after the beginning of the civil war which broke out on April 13, 1975. On the one side, there were the Christian rightist militiamen known as “Kataeb”, on the other a pro-Palestinian leftist coalition led by the Independent Nasseri Movement, the “Mourabitoun”. They fought to control various sectors of Beirut, including sector IV which included the main luxury hotels of the city and constituted one of the most important hotel and tourist areas in the Middle East at the time. Opposite the hotels were the Kantari residential area, the outskirts of the city center and the 32 floors of the Murr Tower, a strategic point dominating the seashore; all of the situated within one square kilometer.

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