In Manaus, the gaze of a Lebanese man

20 de julho de 2016

São Paulo – Parts of or whole faces, landscapes and architectural elements, in Brazil, in Lebanon and around the world. This is the framework for the Lebanese photographer Jacques Menassa’s exhibit “Fragments of Memories,” set to run in Amazonas state capital Manaus from July 27 to August 12. Menassa is currently on a trip to Amazonas after spending 18 years away from the state where he lived during the 1980s and 1990s.

The photos will portray different periods from the photographer’s life. “Each photo left a memory, good or bad,” he told ANBA in an interview. A native of Ghosta, Lebanon, Menassa is a photography aficionado and studied the art form at the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik. He grew interested in coming to Brazil, where he lived on two different occasions, because an uncle’s family lived here. Besides Amazonas, the artist lived in Rio de Janeiro.

As a photographer, Menassa had his work featured in exhibitions, handled photo production duties for theater plays, and won prizes. He has exhibited, in Lebanon, work created in the Amazon. While living in Brazil, Menassa also taught photography classes and made several incursions into the Amazon rainforest.

The exhibit slated for this month will feature 40 color photographs at Museu da Cidade – Paço da Liberdade, in Manaus’ Old Town. A few photo-based creations will be included, such as montages. The show is curated by the Amazonian fine artist, designer and set designer Oscar Ramos.

Besides doing photography work, Menassa holds degrees in Political Science and Business Administration from the Lebanese University and in Economics from Université Paris II Panthéon-Assas.

Menassa returned to Amazonas after almost 20 years to visit his uncle’s family. “And because I longed to see the friends and the city. I have lots of good memories from this place,” he says. He had no intention of working during his three-month stay, but in the end he got several interview requests, and the exhibition also came up.

As to what he came upon after such a long time, his only qualm is: “I felt sad, because I lost many people I held very dear,” he says of his older friends who passed away while he was gone. “They’re still alive in my heart and in my mind.”

Quick facts:
“Fragments of Memories” photo exhibit
July 27 to August 12, 2016
Museu da Cidade – Paço da Liberdade
Old Town – Manaus – Amazonas
Phone: +55 (92) 3622 4991 (Museum)

*Translated by Gabriel Pomerancblum