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Once upon a time there was a commercial studio photographer in Lebanon mamed Hashem El Madani
He was no artist. He did his job, just as many commercial studio photographers do.

I tend to look at the show cases of these photographers. It´s a strange world of stereotypes. My ongoing fascination with something that is so out of my world.

There is nothing special about Hashem El Madani´s photography. No secrets here, no hidden subtext, no brilliance in form. A mass of images, a life’s work, an archive of 500 000 images. I might know fifty of them.

But some of these photographs posses the charm of childlike innocence.
Once upon a time we all looked into a camera without being afraid of going to be betrayed.

Anonymous. Studio Shehrazade, Saida, Lebanon, late 1960s. Standard frontal portrait, mandatory for candidates to military service. Hashem el Madan


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