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About - Photo Negatives from the Arab Image Foundation (Lebanon)


The Arab Image Foundation (AIF) has selected a collection for digitization that represents a large range of photography methods-- from commercial studio use by professionals to personal use (e.g. family shots) by non-professionals. The materials represent a visual and social history of Lebanon and the Middle East that showcases the diversity and complexity of cultural practices captured via photography. 

Through the AIF's digitized work, users can access not just the practice of photography in Lebanon, but also a wider range of concepts representations of self-image, intimacy, domesticity, and the development of modernity in Lebanon. This collection contextualizes these ideas through visualizations of tension between private and public space within and outside of Lebanon, including countries such as Syria, Egypt, Iran, and Iraq.

Lebanon’s current socioeconomic crisis has caused a rift in social unrest and has put cultural heritage, such as this collection, at risk of damage or loss of access. The AIF’s work to preserve these photographic materials is absolutely essential and will allow users to explore spaces throughout Lebanon and in a variety of other countries.