‘Fragile States’ chronicles the transitory existence of a group of young men and boys—many of them migrant laborers, emigrants from Syria and Syrian Kurdistan, living in the context of Beirut. Intermixed with these quiet, intimate portraits are landscapes and still lives, which together raise questions around masculinity, citizenship and the fragile state that lies between adolescence and manhood.
Considering both land and body, Awde’s work explores the scars of the flesh with those of the soil. As these men grow and change, the photographs capture physical marks—In the form of tattoos and cuts—giving hints of struggle and survival. Likewise, the landscape allows us to consider our states of belonging. ‘Fragile States’ is a collaborative exchange photographed over a number of years. These photographs act as witness to the subtle passing of time and coming of age for these young men who are caught in between their unstable homeland and the challenges they face in the margins of Beirut.
George Awde, was born in Boston of Lebanese origin; he studied painting at the Massachusetts College of Art (2004) and received his MFA in Photography from Yale University School of Art (2009). Awde has held teaching positions at various different universities in Lebanon, Egypt, USA and has been in Qatar teaching at VCUQatar since 2013. So far, he has had three solo exhibitions and was featured various times in other exhibitions over the last 15 years across USA, Europe and the Middle East. ‘Fragile States’ will be Awde’s fourth solo exhibition, but the first solo exhibition in Dubai.