I Exist In Some Way shoots down image of Arab world

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The National, May 2013. Feature on major new Arab photography exhibition.

>> During the run of Light From the Middle East, the much-heralded photography show at London’s V&A last year, the Syrian photographer Issa Touma was asked if he thought of his work as political. His answer was telling. “Everything in the Middle East can be political if you have censorship,” he said of his homeland and the harassment he has faced from the Assad regime. “They do not like the freedom I have, but they also do not have much choice. I exist in some way.”

It was such a powerful statement that “I exist in some way” became the guiding principle – and then the title – of a new group photography show comprising Arab artists at Liverpool’s creative hub Bluecoat. The show, which opened yesterday, is both a trailblazer for next month’s Liverpool Arab Arts Festival and an integral part of Liverpool’s international photography festival LOOK/13, I Exist (In Some Way) features work from Touma, as well as 10 other Arab photographers, including Dubai’s Lamia Gargash.

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