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28 June 2013

Yasmine Eid-Sabbagh & Rozenn Quéré, Possible and imaginary lives

This is the story of four strong and feisty woman, exiled to the four corners of the globe, four Palestinian-Lebanese sisters who traversed the 20th century. It is a story somewhere between documentary and fiction, biography and drama, based on family photographs and taped interviews—a narrative of both actual and imagined events.

It is a reflection upon ways of gathering, sifting, listening to and making stories and words emerge. It is a reflection upon how to recreate these stories and words in the present, in the most vivid possible way, by combining the inner experiences of these women with the lived experiences of the gatherings. Herein is a reinterpretation of reality tinged with tenderness and humour. The four women’s and the two photographers’ imagination is at the core of this work.

Jocelyne, the oldest sister, lived in Cairo; Frieda, the youngest, went into exile in Paris; Stella left Lebanon at the time of the civil war for New York; Graziella, her twin, is the only one has remained behind in Beirut.

Far from being a factual or historical portrait of Graziella and her sisters, Possible and Imaginary Lives is an attempt to convey the eccentricities and the imagination of these women so as to give their imaginings the same status as reality. In other words, by combining old family photographs and text, we were not aiming to write their story, but to write their myth.

Yasmine Eid-Sabbagh and Rozenn Quéré

Initial project produced for the Festival Images (Vevey), 2012.

Prints by PCP Photographie, Paris.

Vies possibles et imaginaires was published by Éditions Photosynthèses, Arles, 2012.

Artistes nominées par Zeina Arida pour le Prix Découverte.

Exhibition venue: Atelier de Mécanique, Parc des Ateliers.