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Reported on:
Fri, 2018-06-08 19:00
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Do you speak "Lomo"?

For the last few months, “lomography” became more and more popular in Beirut. Let’s focus on this particular technique of photography, associated to a real philosophy, and to its implantation in the Lebanese capital, and particularly in Achrafieh.

“Push your limits aside and get ready to photograph emptiness”. This is the credo of lomography (lo-fi), a proper photographic movement which arises with this very particular camera: the lomograph (lomo).

Conceived for the first time by a Soviet company in the beginning of the eighties, the “Lomo” seduced people who seem to be attracted by its very flaws, such as the “vignetting”, namely the obsurity and the darkness of the borders, around the image.
Two young Viennese entrepreneurs became aware of the potential of the lomo. They took over the company and made a commercial monster out of the lomo, through the libertarian blow that swept the photography along with it. Ten golden rules are instituted for this technique. The tenth rule is: “Make fun of the rules!”

Lomo met commercial success worldwide. The first shop specialized in lomography opened in 2001 in Vienna. Six years later, Paris, Seoul and Hong-Kong welcomed a gallery specialized in the field. New York was also seduced by the Austrian jewel. Other accessories are conceived in order to multiply the effects obtained by the lomo: flash, filter, mobile shutter which allows obtaining many images on the same photography… Each lomo has its effect(s).

But what about the lomo in Beirut? In order to answer this question, we headed to the current famous shop SuperCaliFragilisticExpialiDocious (in Saifi village), attracted by the quantity of lomo on display in the window. In December 2009, Rania, the manager, a “lomography pioneer” in Beirut, started to propose some devices in the shop. It drew the attention of many people. From 70 to 680$, from the most accessible to the most advanced, the suggested lomo, yet simple, are numerous. Young or old people, professional artists or amateurs, everyone can find something to arouse their creativity.

The “lomo machine” started up in the Lebanese capital. Another shop, The Union in Gemmayzeh now offers the same product.
At SuperCaliFragilisticExpialiDocious, Rania has already organized a master class where the most experienced lomo addicts give their pieces of advice. An evening will be held on the 2nd of October in Zalka’s old sugar house, where lomographic work of twenty artists, mostly Lebanese, will be exhibited.

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