The definition of a diaspora is a history of dispersion among a people (whether forced or voluntary); a desire to return to a place of origin (however fantastical, impractical, or impossible that wish might be); and a lack of full assimilation in a host country. It was due to all the wars, hardship and the Lebanese silk trade failing that caused periodic waves of emigration from Lebanon. Furthermore, the Civil War prompted further emigration in 1975, including my dad’s family. The same life was also set for my mum where she left her home country, Egypt, in order to seek a better life and to escape war and a failing economy. My project documents the diaspora within my family through a mixed documentation of old and new photographs. The idea of the Lebanese Diaspora has always fascinated me due to the sheer number of people who have moved from Lebanon in hopes of a better future, including my family and I.
I have spent years gathering and preserving information about my family and what happened in order to form some sort of history. This project is very personal to my family and I, and it will show the happy moments, the sad moments, and the moments that make you wonder why we left. My motivation is based on creating a series that will act as a timeline on a map that shows how my family left various homes to seek another. I used multiple camera systems as well as old photographs and props, passports and archives, to give the audience a clear understanding of how my family travelled from one place to another and made each place their home.
Ramzi Joseph Khalil is a professional photographer.
His passion for photography was the gateway that made him view the world in a whole different way, which all started at the age of eight when his mum gave him her camera to play with. Since then, he has had a unique perspective and developed his own style and skills to create photographs.
What inspires him the most is the art of creating an image rather than taking a random picture. As a photographer, he is learning on a daily basis, and there are a lot of variables to take into account before an image is created. He mainly shoots with a digital camera, but his preferred medium would be medium-format and 4x5 film. His main interests are architecture, landscapes, wildlife and street photography.