1 / 3       Homs, Syria, Saturday June 14, 2014. A family walking through the rubble on the way to their apartment abandoned two years earlier, to see whether it is habitable. © Sergey Ponomarev for The New York Times.
2 / 3       Khalidiya district, Homs, Syria, Sunday June 15, 2014. Abu Hisham Abdel Karim and his family load their belongings into a taxi. Taxis incongruously drive along deserted streets in ruins, bringing families to inspect what remains of their homes. © Sergey Ponomarev for The New York Times.
3 / 3       During the visit to the exhibition Assad's Syria by Sergey Ponomarev at Couvent des Minimes. © Stefania Biamonti/FPmag.

Assad's Syria

How does one live in a country like Syria devastated by war for more than four years? How have the landscape and daily life of its inhabitants changed? In other words, what is Syria like in the times of Assad? The talented Russian photojournalist Sergey Ponomarev tells us in a superb way with his work Assad's Syria, commissioned by The New York Times and currently exhibited in Perpignan at the Rosenthal hall in the Couvent des Minimes.
Through a sophisticated visual language, the author – third place within the latest edition of the World Press Photo in the General News Stories category with the work Gaza Conflictoffers us a perspective on Syria different than that to which we have now become sadly accustomed by newspapers and newscasts. His objective focuses in fact on secondary issues, those that normally slip out of the frame to be printed only in the eyes of those who, on site, is busy with the development of the conflict. Aspects of the background, therefore, seemingly insignificant, but capable of restoring three-dimensionality to the phenomenon called war and, perhaps, to deliver the tragedy much better than hundreds of shots with piles of dead bodies and fragments of military action. Ponomarev does not look for sensational images, if anything, he makes what usually remains confined to the background sensational. A change of perspective that lives thanks to his ability to see, to reorder the chaos of the world within flawless shots, in which each element acquires a meaning, an interconnected meaning, a memo in perspective.
Work that leaves its mark without resorting to rivers of blood, that says a lot without raising its voice, and that at this moment, at least for myself, it is the best exhibition offered by this year's edition of Visa pour l'Image. Just a shame that the high quality of form and content of this reportage is not easily demonstrated through images granted by the press office... [ S. B. ]

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ASSAD'S SYRIA
by Sergey Ponomarev
Couvent des MInimes | until September, 13th 2015
admission fee: free

published on 2015-09-06 in NEWS / EXHIBITIONS

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