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Ravers, semi-naked sun-worshippers, booming queer culture we meet the photographers chronicling a new generation of Lebanese shaking off the trauma of civil war
Parties are a privileged place, a space for exploration, a time for fusion, says photographer Cha Gonzalez. Theyre also the focus of her series Abandon, which looks at the way some Lebanese people have used nightlife and techno music in particular as a release after the trauma of the countrys 15-year civil war, which ended in 1990. I knew a lot of people who were either born during the war or in exile, she says. What was put aside during the day came to light and their internal struggles surfaced.
Abandon is a pertinent theme not only for Gonzalez, but for all of the 16 contributors to an exhibition in Paris called Cest Beyrouth (This Is Beirut), at the Institut des Cultures dIslam. Gonzalez in particular seized on the citys dance scene, and later continued the series in Paris, where she lives, because there was something to say about countries that are very far from war as well. The war is inside us: how we feel useless, alone, bored, guilty, horny.