Camille Zakharia: c/o (2013)
"Suspended is perhaps a good term that describes best my state of Belonging. I feel that I have no roots to a particular place, a physical one that is, or location. And yet, I have always worked hard to create strong links and connections wherever I have lived, attempting to be one of the crowd, embrace the local cultures and making good friends. I suppose I did well, so far.
The question of Belonging has always been an intriguing theme for me. I have always wondered how does it feel to be associated to a place.
I have been photographing constantly the transient world that surrounds me for as long as I remember. I am not sure why. I have always been inclined to freeze particular moments that I felt belonged to me: Scars on the walls caused by civil unrest, a framer offering a tomato, a fisherman holding a fish like a trophy, urban landscapes amid wave of changes, mother holding my crying son attempting to comfort him, brother reclining on his bed while gazing into the unknown, kids following a train, a bridesmaid showing off her hat… Mundane moments that remain living within me…
Working on the Venice show under the theme of A World Of My Own, I am attempting to recall these moments, fraction of seconds, relive the experience with twisted memories. Am I trying to hold on to what I have in me, or letting it go? I am unsure about the memories I am recreating, juxtaposing places that I have called home at some point in my life, urban landscape from war torn Lebanon next to a fisherman in Bahrain, next to a interior of mosque in Turkey…. While the images may seem disassociated from each other, they have a common link. I have lived the experience of witnessing them during my displacement from one place to another. My life intersected theirs at a particular moment, and I am trying to reflect on this living experience.
While driving my car to have my haircut, all these memories are jumbled up. I travel from Istanbul to Halifax, and Beirut to Manama in fraction of seconds. No visas are required. There are no geographical boundaries. Memories intersect other memories, we get happy, then sad, happy again, all in fraction of seconds. The work I am creating is an attempt to reflect on the complex beings we are, this small body of ours containing countless moments, complex ones oftentimes overwhelmingly intense.. and yet we go on with our life…
The tile size collages resemble our memories and what remains of them once we are distant. Interwoven together, they reflect on the complexity of our existence.”
text by Camille Zakharia
Born in 1962, Lebanon
Lives and works in Manama, Bahrain
Displaced from his homeland in 1985 by the civil war, the Lebanese-born Canadian photographer Camille Zakharia set out on a series of travels to diverse destinations, many of which served as temporary homelands. Photography remains the one constant in his life. The visual record Zakharia captures through his photographic work spans three decades and various locales including the United States, Greece, Turkey, Canada, and, most recently, Bahrain where he currently resides.