Buried Identity, Ramzi Khalil
My photographs reflect on the unrelenting tension of the Lebanese people who have been displaced from their homeland during the civil war due to political powers. The series presents the psychological presence of millions of Lebanese who continue the struggle. Appearing like ghosts in a field of dreams, the unidentified figures evoke the presence of absence of a homeland that has been cleansed of most of its sons and daughters. The photographs metaphorically reunite the displaced immigrant inhabitants within the native homeland they lost. While a massive tragedy of forced displacement and economic migration is increasingly reverberating across the globe, the images invite viewers to witness some of these forgotten immigrants who have languished in the shadows around the world for the past forty years. Stripped of their identity and driven from their land by the cruelty of political greed and power, four generations of the Lebanese people endure as unfamiliar guests in foreign host-lands. The series continues the tradition of their unwavering insistence to raise children on the cultural narratives of Lebanon and to nurture them on visions of returning and rebuilding their ancestral villages and towns.