Photos by Madani via Youtube
CAIRO – 9 August 2017: Lebanese photographer Hasem El Madani, known for his extensive portraits of people in Lebanon. Born in 1928, Madani started photographing in 1948 when he found a box camera in his parents’ living room. This took him down a path of photography he would follow until the end.
Medani was active in Saida, Lebanon for over 50 years, where he would photograph men, women and children. He documented life in 50s and 60s Lebanon extensively, and by the time his studio was bombed in 1982, marking a war that had swept the country, Medani was estimated to have photographed at least 90% of the people living in Saida.
Medani was proud of the fact that he never turned down a customer and always photographed what the people wanted.
His portraits covered a wide range of topics, usually people who wanted to look as if they were in a movie. A common motif in his work is same-sex couples kissing or holding each other, however this was the result of Saida's conservative attitudes, which shunned public displays of romance.
Medani's unique, honest portraits reflected a bygone era, a time before war would change everything.