This collection of snapshots is a personal account of my stay in Lebanon covering a period of eighteen months between 2003 and 2005. I moved to Beirut from London in August 2002 to work as an art director for an international network ad agency and spent a full year observing the country and its people before actually picking up the camera.
Initially my aim was to
portray everyday life in Lebanon but over time I became obsessed with
discoveries of remnants of another time, a time that coincides with my
childhood during the seventies in an entirely different corner of the
world. My photographs search for spontaneity, imperfection and tradition
and are flavored by a strong presence of 70s' aesthetic.
Given the recent developments, they also emerge as a record of a society,
caught between the ghosts of the not so distant troubled past and the
events that were about to unfold in the aftermath of the assassination
of former Prime Minister Rafiq Harriri in February 2005. This was a period
marked by a sense of peace, stability and economic prosperity, a time
when Beirut became once again the glamour and nightlife capital of the
Voyeuristic but never intrusive, the photographs are an attempt to map
out a bigger picture by focusing on details and capturing moods. There
are many themes that have occupied my attention but the most important
are the ones that form the very pillars of the Lebanese society: politics,
religion and family. For example I became very interested in the way people
in Lebanon deal with authority figures – street scenes reveal posters
of political leaders untouched by human hand, only worn out by the hot
and humid climate; numerous impromptu Christian shrines are planted on
street corners, in corridors of residential buildings and even next to
petrol stations; portraits of ancestors hang from the walls of small grocery
I would like to dedicate this body of work to the people of Lebanon in
hope that peace and common sense will prevail.
— Sinisa Vlajkovic, August 2006
About the author: Sinisa Vlajkovic was born in Belgrade, Serbia in
1969 and graduated from the University of Belgrade in 1994 with a BSc
in Town and Country Planning. In search of a more creative future, following
a short spell in urban planning, he switched to graphic design and art
direction. Between 1995 and present he lived and worked as an art director
for advertising agencies in Belgrade, London, Beirut and now Dubai. In
late 2003 following the acquisition of his first digital camera and inspired
by the Lebanese way of life, he began to record the world around him from
a very personal perspective.
FeatureThe Calm Before the Storm:
Lebanon 2003-2005Serbian photographer Sinisa Vlajkovic documented everyday life in Lebanon for 18 months during 2003-2005, a period of relative peace and tranquility. Here are his photos and his personal report.View Images
The Calm Before the Storm:
Serbian photographer Sinisa Vlajkovic documented everyday life in Lebanon for 18 months during 2003-2005, a period of relative peace and tranquility. Here are his photos and his personal report.View Images
The Calm Before the Storm: Lebanon 2003-2005
Serbian photographer Sinisa Vlajkovic documented everyday life in Lebanon for 18 months during 2003-2005, a period of relative peace and tranquility. Here are his photos and his personal report.
View across the Street, Beirut 2003 © Sinisa Vlajkovic
Abandoned building scarred in the previous war, Beirut 2004 © Sinisa Vlajkovic
Political poster in a typical souq street, Tripoli 2003 © Sinisa Vlajkovic
Fishermen resting, Beirut 2003 © Sinisa Vlajkovic
Woman hanging laundry, Beirut 2003 © Sinisa Vlajkovic
Parking lot, Beirut 2004 © Sinisa Vlajkovic
Conservative family in their car, Beirut 2003 © Sinisa Vlajkovic
Posters on the bedroom wall of a disused apartment, Beirut 2004 © Sinisa Vlajkovic
Grocery store, Tripoli 2004 © Sinisa Vlajkovic
Money exchange office, Tripoli 2004 © Sinisa Vlajkovic
Street signage, Beirut 2003 © Sinisa Vlajkovic
Interior of a taxi, Beirut 2003 © Sinisa Vlajkovic
Fast food kiosk, Deir El Qamar 2003 © Sinisa Vlajkovic
Christian shrine on a balcony, Beirut 2004 © Sinisa Vlajkovic
Christian shrine in a residential building, Beirut 2004 © Sinisa Vlajkovic
Impromptu chapel, Beirut 2004 © Sinisa Vlajkovic
Façade of a building, Beirut 2003 © Sinisa Vlajkovic
View through the window of a disused family house, Bechmizzine 2003 © Sinisa Vlajkovic
Goal posts on the beach, Beirut 2004 © Sinisa Vlajkovic
The beach in winter, Beirut 2003 © Sinisa Vlajkovic
Trending this Week
Irish-born Tom Wood photographed the working-class people of Liverpool for almost three decades — at once affectionate and grimly realistic. Review by Sean Sheehan.
YU: The Lost Country
“By its very nature, Yugoslavia was a land of displaced peoples…” A photographer and writer grapples with the widespread denial of her country and nationality.
Selections from William Eggleston’s Masterwork, The Democratic Forest
A wide-ranging review of Eggleston’s newest collection of photographs that touches on his influence on David Lynch as well as the unique “silence” in his photographs.
In My Backyard: Iceland
Set against the grand, wild majesty of the eastern Icelandic landscape, these searching self-portraits are one woman’s attempts to connect with herself and forge a basic understanding with her environment.
Tourists vs. Refugees
In an oddly jarring sequence of photos from the Greek island of Kos, we are confronted with well-off European tourists taking selfies, while all around them refugees camp in make-shift shelters.
In a remote, mountainous area of Spain, groups of multi-national non-conformists live in makeshift dwellings that emphasize their occupants’ anti-establishment beliefs and identities.