One of Koudelka’s 1991 black-and-whites of the city center in Beirut.
© JOSEF KOUDELKA / MAGNUM PHOTOS
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One of the biggest names in photography, Koudelka, was in Lebanon last week for his "The Wall/Beirut" exhibition, up at Dar El-Nimer for Arts and Culture in Clemenceau.The second is dedicated to images Koudelka took in Beirut shortly after the Civil War.Dominique Edde, who devised the project, first approached Koudelka – and he almost didn't take part.When Edde proposed an obligation-free visit, Koudelka agreed.In the late '80s Koudelka had begun to work with a panoramic camera, and he was moving away from the photos of people that had made him famous – such as in his acclaimed images of the Russian invasion of Prague in 1968, and his long-term, immersive work on Europe's gypsy community.While most of his colleagues visited Beirut just once in October-November 1991, Koudelka, who often returns to locations multiple times, made two trips for the project, which received financial support from the Hariri Foundation.Though the fighting had ended, Koudelka said Edde would never let him go out alone.When Koudelka first returned to Beirut around six years ago, he said he was sometimes saddened by what he saw.On this trip, too, Koudelka returned to Baalbeck.
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