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Quiet crossings, Kinship, and Intimacy in Lebanon and Northeast Syria
George Awde, an American-born artist of Lebanese descent, is a photographer and educator who works in the US and Beirut. He received his BFA in painting from Massachusetts College of Art in 2004, and in 2009 he received his MFA from Yale University in photography. His work has been exhibited internationally.
In this exhibition, Awde offers viewers painstakingly detailed photographs rich with quiet emotion that implicate the complex relationship between the body and labor migration in Lebanon.
The history of labor migration between Syria and Lebanon reaches back to the 1950s and 1960s, and is redolent with coercive tactics that marginalize laboring bodies within low skill service work. Rather than simply depicting this dichotomy between privileged and laboring classes, attempting to recuperate the nobility of laboring bodies, or relying on an often-exploitative strategy to feature the laboring bodies in the act or setting of their work, Awde’s exhibition highlights their quiet and oft unexceptional pathos. In doing so, he showcases the intimacy shared amongst these men to offer a poetic reflection on community.