Exhibition by Michael von Graffenried

@ The Hangar (UMAM D&R)

April 4 – 20, 2008

Algérie : Photographies d’une guerre sans images evokes the universality of violence and the complexity of civil conflict. Whilst it is impossible to equate Algeria and Lebanon’s respective experiences of war, this exhibition, hosted by UMAM D&R, cannot fail to confront the Lebanese public with their own violent history. During Algeria’s civil war between the government and Islamic extremists, Michael von Graffenried bore witness to the conflict, capturing unique images of the war itself, its horrific effects and the hope that remained in the midst of despair.

Between 1991 and 2001 the Swiss photographer’s insight into a world of terror, massacres, executions, torture and forced disappearances illuminates the use of violence by all parties to the conflict, and at the same time avoids miring the spectator in pity or hopelessness.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a screening of the film War without images – Algeria, I know that you know which follows the return of Michael von Graffenried to Algeria, and his reunions with subjects of the photos he “stole.”

Michael von Graffenried

Michael von Graffenried was born in Switzerland in 1957 and is now living and working in Paris. Self-taught, he began working as a photographer in 1978. He has been published in many major international magazines and newspapers and has exhibited widely. He had one man shows in New York, Paris, Hong Kong and Algeria, among others. His photographs are held in several permanent museum collections. He has published a number of books, among them: Sudan. The Forgotten War (1995), Naked in Paradise (Dewi Lewis Stockport GB1997), Inside Algeria (Aperture, New York City 1998) and recently Cocainelove (Benteli Publishers Bern 2005). Together with Mohammed Soudani he directed the 90 minutes documentary film War without images – Algeria, I know that you know, which was screened for the first time at the Film Festival Locarno in 2002.

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