Joe Ghanem was announced winner of the 2017 Byblos Bank Award for Photography, the sixth edition of one of the most sought-after artistic photography prizes in Lebanon, during a ceremony that took place at BEIRUT ART FAIR in Biel.
“The Byblos Bank Award has played an important role in shedding light on photography as an art, especially in the context of the BEIRUT ART FAIR”, said Agnès Grégoire, the President of this year’s jury, and Editorial Director of PHOTO magazine. “Year after year, the level and quality of the works of emerging Lebanese photographers is improving,” added Mrs. Grégoire.
“Six editions of the Byblos Bank Award for Photography mean 6 years of hard work by both BEIRUT ART FAIR and Byblos Bank, and of course hundreds of wonderful emerging Lebanese photographers who have been a part of this journey,” said Nada Tawil, Head of Group Communication Department at Byblos Bank. Mrs. Tawil added: “We really believe that art brings people together and we’re proud of the role we, as a Lebanese bank, are playing in this process.”
For her part Marine Bougaran, Head of Exhibitor Relations at BEIRUT ART FAIR, said: “The Byblos Bank Award has played a pivotal role in developing artistic photography in Lebanon. By providing participants with continuous support, it acts as a true springboard for emerging talents.”
This year, some 208 candidates applied online on www.byblosbankaward.com for a chance to win the award; but the consistency of the approach of Joe Ghanem, the way he researched and presented his theme, the photographic quality of his work (originality of the framing, light treatment, aesthetics...) and its artistic value earned him the prize.
“I have witnessed the positive impact that the Byblos Bank Award has had on the careers of previous winners and finalists,” said Joe Ghanem. “Now, I am thankful and honored to be one of the recipients of this annual prize, and look forward to my first solo exhibition,” he added.
Byblos Bank’s prize to Joe Ghanem consists of personalized expert mentoring under an expert Lebanese photographer and BEIRUT ART FAIR for his first solo exhibition, hosting of the event at Byblos Bank Headquarters, and generous promotion through both a personal catalog and a dedicated media campaign.
Titled “Witnesses of Time”, Joe Ghanem’s winning series of photographs documents the oldest living people in Lebanon, through unique portraits. By featuring seniors in the intimacy of their homes, Ghanem raises many unanswered questions touching upon an often forgotten subject in society.