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HomeContents > People > Photographers > Randa Mirza

Dates:  1978 -
Born:  Lebanon, Beirut
Active:  Lebanon
Lebanese contemporary photographer and visual artist who has blended documentary photography to create works that question the role of photojournalism in a time of war. 
Artist statement: 
I work with digital photography and live video editing. My work essentially reflects on wars and postwar situations; what is shown and hidden during warfare, but also what remains, transforms or changes, gets forgotten, or disappears after a conflict. I also question the role and means of the media as an important extension of a struggle.

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Randa Mirza
Self portrait with remote control 
[The Culture of Shock] 
2006 (ca)
Family history 
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Supplemental information

2003 BA in fine arts, multimedia studies, University of Paris 8, France
2002 DESS in advertising, Lebanese academy of fine arts, ALBA, Beirut, Lebanon
Solo Exhibitions
2006 La Stanza delle Biciclette gallery (Vincenzo Cottinelli), Brescia, Italy
1999 Beirut theatre, Beirut, Lebanon
Group Exhibitions
2007 Moving Walls, Espace SD, Beirut, Lebanon
2006 Welcome, The Leibling Center for Film, Photo and Video Hampshire College, USA
2006 Nafas Beirut, Espace SD, Beirut, Lebanon
2006 Stomping ground, Le Florence Gallery, Los Angeles, USA
2006 Les rencontres photographiques d’Arles, France
2006 Chou tabkha ya marra, Art Lounge, Beirut, Lebanon
2006 Beautiful Lebanon, Virgin Megastore, Beirut, Lebanon
2006 Lebanese Cultural Center, Paraguay
2006 French Cultural Center, Torino, Italy
2005 5th francophone games, National Museum of Modern Art, Niamey, Niger
2004 8th international festival of photography, Aleppo, Syria
2004 2nd international photography meetings of Ghar El-Melh, Tunisia
2001 The other, Cornish al-Manara, Beirut, Lebanon
2000 Beirut Art Festival, Starco, Beirut, Lebanon
Video Performences
2007 International Women Day, Art Lounge, Beirut, Lebanon
2006 W rez, Art Lounge, Beirut, Lebanon
2006 Gardens of pleasures, New Year at Sursok palace, Beirut, Lebanon
2006 Private party at Guren-Gefinor, Beirut, Lebanon
2005 Here comes the sun, Greenpeace fundraising party, Beirut, Lebanon
2005 Dance for mine action, United Nations fundraising party, OM, Beirut, Lebanon
2005 VJ La Mirza v/s DJ Insekt, Virgin Megastore, Beirut, Lebanon
2005 Wet, Beach Party at Bonita Bay, Batroun, Lebanon
2005 Friday the 13th, Opening of Basement party, Beirut, Lebanon
2004 Private Party with Arab Add magazine at Hilton, Kuwait
Awards, grants and residencies
2006 No Limit award, Rencontres photographiques d’Arles,
2006 Grant for artist residency, NIFCA, Helsinki, Finland,
2005 1st price in photography, 5th francophony games, Niamey, Niger,
The Culture of Shock - Artist Statement (Sept 2007)
To regard the sufferings of people in conflict zones is a new form of virtual tourism.
"The Culture of Shock" is an ongoing project that points to the absurdity of our separate worlds and realities; disparate actions take place at the same time in different places.
The images reveal in a single frame how events are portrayed and how they are perceived. Passive news spectators are transplanted in the image. They become the image.
Abandoned rooms - Artist Statement (Sept 2007)
Abandoned Rooms is a series about fragmented lives, lives that are stuck between the reality of the changeover and the haunting ghost of the war. They speak of the past in the present, of presence in absence, of death and survival, of what is forgotten and what lingers, of what rots and is transformed in a country that keeps rising from its ruins.
During what is commonly known as the years of the civil war, waves of civilian migrants fleeing their devastated regions sheltered in various blocks of flats, rubble, abandoned apartments and chalets, luxurious villas, hotels and summer houses. The various Lebanese militias and foreign armies took over these constructions and turned them into housings or headquarters. Since the civil war ended in 1990, and until the foreign armies recently withdrew from the Lebanese territories (2000 for Israel and 2005 for Syria), most of these places were gradually being returned to their original owners. Despite the reconstruction frenzy that has gripped the country, strongly encouraged by the “postwar” governments, many of these monuments dotted across Lebanon are actually in ruins… They form the remains and traces of the war: scattered holes in the collective memory.
I entered these wrecks with a need entwined with the fear of returning to places steeped in the past. Stacks of lives awaited in the photographed rooms. Passing through these infinite spaces reveals the adventure and risk of a forced encounter with memory. In the destitution of what remains, repressed secrets rear up: present and imaginary dusts.
These monuments, with their multiple identities and histories, are an integral part of the urban landscape, standing like an abutment of the past against a period both stagnant and present, a reminder of an overhanging war.
I started working on the Abandoned rooms photography project in Septembre 2005. The work was medaled at the 5th francophonie games in December 2005. It was also rewarded, the ” no limit award” at Arles photography festival on the 8th of July 2006, four days before the latest destruction of Lebanon by Isreal, in what has been lately titled the July war.  
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