This series of interventions with Yasmine Eid-Sabbagh sets out to negotiate the status of a collection of digital photography originating from Burj al-Shamali, a Palestinian refugee camp in Southern Lebanon. The collection, gathered in collaboration with camp residents between 2001 and 2011, is conditioned by ambivalent positions about its storage, use and circulation.

The interventions describe, comment and refer to the photographs from the collection, and thus extend the concept of the photographic image. Performing the photographs rather than simply showing them brings to light a dilemma and a conflict that aims at suspending the logics of representation, which is confronted with its impossibility. Performing the photographs also allows for prolonging the photographs’ materiality and lets them unfold their agency. With(in) this series of interventions, the different elements of the collection are situated next to each other and form a ‘community’ of images, but they do not coagulate into one solid form. They are in constant tension, holding together, but at the same time moving apart.

This work was developed in collaboration with the dramaturge Ingrid Cogne.

Thus, these interventions question the iconography of the Palestinian refugee created through images mainly produced by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in the 1950s, and later by the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) and the media. They also situate the collection from Burj al-Shamali in the context of the Arab Image Foundation, in the proximity of which this work was developed, while critically reflecting on archives created by and for artistic practices.

Like meta-medial layers of a stratified substance, the interventions try to not dismiss visuality, or turn the visual into the purely oral, but to invoke the means of visuality and use these means against them(selves).

Yasmine Eid-Sabbagh studied history, photography and visual anthropology in Paris. From 2006 to 2011 she lived in Burj al-Shamal, a refugee camp near Tyre (Lebanon), where she has developed a photographic investigation that includes a conversational project with young Palestinian refugees and the archiving of personal and studio photographs. Since 2008, Eid-Sabbagh has been a member of the Arab Image Foundation. She is currently pursuing a doctorate at the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna.

Organized by:
Main sponsor of activities :
Estrella Damm
With the collaboration of:
Arab Image Foundation
Institut de la Llengua i la Cultura de les Illes Balears (ILLENC)
Ram Fondation
Reconstrucción de una imagen de satélite de Google Maps ya no accesible, con el campo de Burj al-Shamali borrado digitalmente © Digital Globe 2007 y Yasmine Eid-Sabbagh, 2017


Venue: Exhibition Hall and Outdoors

Inside a Camera Obscura
This intervention sets in place the ambivalences and paradoxes of the Burj al-Shamali collection by looking at studio practices in the camp.
Duration: 27 min (4 sets): 11.30 am, 12.15 pm, 6.00 pm, 6.45 pm
Number of participants: max 4 places

Prisoners of Photography
By revisiting the history of representation of Palestinian refugees, and looking at vernacular photographs from the Burj al-Shamali camp, this intervention sketches the limits of photography and representability.
Duration: 25 min (4 sets): 11.30 am, 12.15 pm, 6.00 pm, 6.45 pm
Number of participants: max 5 places

Economies of Love
Wedding photographs are an important part of the existing photographs in Burj al-Shamali. At first sight seeming to report a practice of a social convention, what do these photographs say about self-care and self-determination?
Duration: 25 min (3 sets): 5.30 pm, 6.15pm, 7.00 pm
Number of participants: max 4 places

SUNDAY, 11 JUNE 2017
Ways of Be(com)ing (Im)perceptible
This intervention extends singular photographs and thus proposes an exploration of photography from an embodied material object to multidimensional substance composed of different meta-medial layers.
Duration: 20 min (7 sets): 10.30 am, 10.50 am, 11.10 am, 12.30 pm, 12.50 pm, 1.10 pm, 1.30 pm
Number of participants: one-to-one, with two observing (3 places/set)

MONDAY, 12 JUNE 2017
Year 69 of the Palestinian Revolution
Reflections on endurance in relation to the Burj al-Shamali camp and its collection of digital photographs.
Duration: 30 min (4 sets): 11.30 am, 12.15 pm, 6.00 pm, 6.45 pm
Number of participants: max 4 places

TUESDAY, 13 JUNE 2017 – museum closed – meeting in front of main door
Endurance in Spite of All
By looking at noise and encryption, this intervention addresses the collection’s resistance to being captured by institutional archives.
Duration: 25 min (3 sets): 5.30 pm, 6.15 pm, 7.30 pm
Number of participants: max 5 places

The Ones Who Walk Away…
This seventh intervention looks at seven plots/scenarios projecting possible futures for the Burj al-Shamali camp and its collection of digital photograph.
Duration: 35 min (4 sets): 11.30 am, 12.15 pm, 6.00 pm, 6.45 pm
Number of participants: max 7 places

* The interventions will be in Spanish or English to be agreed with the group.

Programes públics
macba [at] macba [dot] cat
Tel: 93 481 33 68


I paint as if I were walking in the street. I collect a pearl or a crust of bread; what I find around is what I offer
Joan Miró