مَحَلُّنْ

In Their Place

Rawan Mazeh

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In Lebanon, looking at the wars through a narrow scope, temporary media coverage of conflict often overlooks deep and lasting impacts that go far beyond wartime. Residual manifestations of war are often as powerful and important as those direct outcomes of casualties and destroyed infrastructure. The destruction that affected homes as well as hospitals, schools, roads, airports, power stations, fuel depots, warehouses, factories, and bridges subsequently left no evidence, as the areas went through an extensive reconstruction phase and were fully repaired.

As such, the only remaining proof of physical destruction today is cluster bombs and landmines left by Israelis from 1978, 1982, and 2006. These bombs, left in the southern part of Lebanon, still constitute a danger, given the fact that they still might explode when touched today. Usually referred to as the aftermath, injured survivors, traumatized relatives, friends and family of martyrs, homes, and landmine-filled landscapes remain overlooked.

This series strives to tell the untold stories of those that remained in the shadows in Southern Lebanon, hiding and intimidated, too afraid to stand up on their own, fearing they would join those who lost their lives and suffered incomparable losses. Through this series, I put myself in their place and step into the landmine and remnant zones; I follow the memories sitting in drawers, covered with daily routine objects and belongings; and I face the human remains - injured, mentally ill, and traumatized. These memories are backed up by constant reminders passed along from one generation to another, taking the form of objects which end up being considered as part of their heritage and belonging. And while life goes on, these people, memories, and places stay still - standing where their shoes were left, frozen in the past.

Lebanon

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Milta Detonation

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Houmin Al Fawka Detonation

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Bayt Yahoun Detonation

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Houmin Al Fawka Detonation

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Alma Al Shaaeb Detonation

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Abbas Al Saghir, injured in 1979.

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Left: Ayda Al Khaled, injured in Al Mansouri Massacre of 1996. Right: Image showing Ayda Al Khaled injured, being pulled out of the wreckage after Al Mansouri Massacre of 1996.

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Right: Aida Al Khaled’s sister, martyred in Al Mansouri Massacre of 1996. Right: A photograph of Aida Al Khaled’s sister, injured during the Al Mansouri Massacre of 1996.

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Left: Esraa Al Lakkis. Right: A photograph of her in 1998, two years after she was injured.

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Montaha Chaito, injured in 2006.

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Left: Montaha. Right top: A photo of Montaha's son in 2006. Right bottom: A photo of Montaha's daughter.

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Hasan Shalhoub, injured in Qana Massacre of 2006.

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Left: Hasan Shalhoub showing objects he kept from his sister Zaynab, martyred during the Qana Massacre of 2006. Right: Hair pins from Zaynab Shalhoub, martyred during the Qana Massacre of 2006.

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Left: Mother’s day letter kept from Zaynab Shalhoub, martyred during Qana Massacre of 2006. Right: ID kept from Zaynab Shalhoub, martyred during Qana Massacre of 2006.

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Ahmed Ali.

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Ahmad Ali, injured in 1974 and 2006.

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Pacifier kept from Abbas Hachem, martyred during Qana Massacre of 2006.

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Left: A letter found by Mohmoud Hachem containing his well. Right: The wallet of Mahmoud Hachem, martyred during the Qana Massacre of 2006.

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Left: Mother's day gift from Jaafar Hachem, martyred during the Qana Massacre of 2006. Right: Mother's day gift from Mahdi Hachem, martyred during the Qana Massacre of 2006.

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Fatima Ali holding fragments extracted from her 2006 injured hand.

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Toothbrush kept from Khadija, Yousra's sister, who was martyred during Qana Massacre of 2006.

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Rawan Mazeh

Lebanon

Rawan Mazeh is a Beirut-based documentary photographer. She received a Bachelor of Arts in photography and multimedia with distinction from Notre Dame University in Lebanon in 2018. Mazeh combines her social interest in documenting to her artistic drive. Her work focuses on tracking and tracing belonging, memory, and the relation between citizens and their lands.

www.rawanmazeh.com