Listening Through the Lens

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Listening Through the Lens

With the exhibition ‘Listening Through the Lens', the Sursock Museum of Beirut goes back in time and attempts the impossible: to capture the art of belly-dancing in photographs.

The Fouad Debbas collection of over 30,000 images (representing the Middle East from 1830 to 1960) belongs to the Sursock Museum of Beirut. From these, the museum has put together a unique selection devoted to awalim (belly-dancing). Fouad César Debbas was passionate about the preservation of cultural heritage through the image. He brought together postcards, photographs, prints, books, and other media that narrate the history and mysteries of the Middle East. This rich exhibition demonstrates, among many things, Europes fascination with oriental dance after the Paris Exhibition of 1889, where people were amazed by the awalim and photographers went in search of dancers, Egyptian singers, and musicians. Bedouin folklore, the use of music to express faith or meditate, and breath-taking choreography: the multiple aspects of dance are here captured for eternity.

Musée Sursock
Greek Orthodox Archbishopric Street
Ashrafieh 2071
5509 Beirut

From 12 February to 18 April 2016

From 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. (Thursday: from noon to 9:00 p.m.)