About the artist
Fadia Ahmad is a Lebanese award-winning photographer and filmmaker. Ahmad’s family was exiled from Lebanon due to the ongoing Civil War and settled in Alicante, Spain where Ahmad was born. She later returned to Lebanon in 1991. She graduated from Saint Joseph University with a BA in Cinematography and Film Production where she mastered the art of photography. She is primarily known for her series of portraits and landscapes in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. She is currently based between Beirut and Paris. Ahmad’s travels all over the world have expanded her artistic perspective and left an imprint on her work. She experienced life in several places and learned about different cultures, while also engaging in humanitarian issues. After graduating, she lived in Sub-Saharan Africa, but never stopped pursuing her artistic endeavors. She returned to Lebanon in 2002. Her most recent project, Beyrouth/Beirut (2019), is a homage to the urban environment, complex demographics, and nostalgic architecture of Lebanon's capital. To complete this photo series, Ahmad walked a daily itinerary of 10,452 steps across the capital city. The project is a quest for identity and belonging through the streets of Beirut, in which Ahmad seeks the roots of the Self. In the Beyrouth/Beirut series, Ahmad’s photographs are conceived as paintings, with its intricate layers, its differences and its feel. The photographs transmit a particular expression of the Lebanese art photographer, one that is sensitive and precise, poetic and humanist. The photos are in color or black and white, in large scale, some carefully framed, others snapped in an instant and sometimes, just like chromos of a dreamed-up country that reveals itself quite differently, presenting fragments of life. More than a style, they affirm a present-day vision, and portray an artist who often refers to the universal history of art and photography. Ahmad’s photographs are a quest for light and beauty. They witness a search for the essence of emotion and show poetic instants nestled in the slightest details. In 2020, Ahmad directed and produced her documentary Beirut, the Aftermath which follows narratives from the communities in the same area where she photographed Beirut/Beyrouth. Ahmad aims to demonstrate the reality of life following the blast, highlighting the testimonials of its many survivors. Her aim with the film is to immortalize the narrative of the blast, while revealing the deep wounds left on the Lebanese people that will take decades to heal. Not only is the documentary a commemoration of the human and architectural impact of the blast, it also serves as a trace of Lebanese history, a history that is not taught in schools, and lacks a centralized narrative. As an artist, Ahmad offers her only means of preserving that history through the medium of film. Beirut, the Aftermath has been selected for several festivals worldwide and won awards in a variety of categories. Timeline:
- The Lebanese Canadian Film Festival in Canada 2021 - Official Selection and 2nd Place Award Winner Feature Film Documentary.
- Lebanese Film Festival in Canada 2021 - Official Selection.
- The Lebanese Canadian Film Festival screening "Beirut the Aftermath" at Cinema Guzzo, Cote Vertu, Montreal, Canada.
- Rabat International Author Film Festival - Official Selection.
- Argenteuil International Film Festival 2021 - July Edition Winner.
- Five Continents International Film Festival 2021 - Official Selection and four awards: Best Documentary Half-Length Film, Best Female Director Feature Film, Special Mention Production Feature Film, and Best Poster.
- ‘Dessine-moi un cèdre’: Hymne Au Liban’ Exhibition, November 25 to 27, Galerie Modus, Paris.
- Judge of Season 2 of World Art Collector Incubator,2021.
- SR Socially Relevant Film Festival in New York - Official Selection.
- SR Socially Relevant Film Festival Talk - Meet the Filmmakers.
- SR Socially Relevant Film Festival Talk - Meet the WOMEN Filmmakers.
- From Peoria to Lebanon Exhibition and Screening, November 30, 2021 to January 9, 2022, Peoria Riverfront Museum.
- "When life hangs by a thread", Closing Exhibition, March 1 to 31, Expo 2020 Dubai.
Ahmad was recently a judge on Season 2 of the World Art Collector Incubator, a YouTube series "focused on Lebanese artists," which premiered in August 2020. The program's mission statement calls for highlighting and promoting both reputable and "promising" performers.
Pascale Le Thorel
" Fadia Ahmad tries to show life, beauty, the poetic instances that nest in the tiniest details. In order to seek out the very essence of emotion, her pictures avoid pictorialist effects. Therefore, it doesn't matter to her whether she uses traditional or digital cameras, or a smartphone... "
Pascale Le Thorel
" When they are shown, her pictures are not intended to assert her style, but to reflect the diffraction that characterizes the country. "
Pascale Le Thorel
" Her approach is artistic, poetic and humanist, rather than documentary and conceptual. "