Mazen Jannoun and the shape of belonging

From the narrative of war to the one about territories, passing through the exploration of feelings and the human condition, the idea of belonging can be expressed in many ways, as the recent experience of the Blumm Prize Future Frames has taught.

The Lebanese photographer Mazen Jannoun, for instance, has investigated the most ancestral tie of all, the one with one’s own roots, succeeding in defining even a shape: the neat and circumscribed shape of a square. Or rather, a square meter.

For the realization of the 1×1 documentary, that he brought to the international photography prize promoted by the agency Pomilio Blumm, Jannoun asked 25 immigrants to identify the objects that most represent their past and present identity, and to place them as they pleased on a defined space of 1×1 metre.

Born in 1974, Mazen Jannoun’s career as a photographer starts in the 90s in the advertising field and continues with architecture photography and reports of various kinds. After collaborating, between 2003 and 2008, with the American University of Beirut in digitizing photographic plates of the historical archive, dating from the second half of the 19th century, he works on the documentation of life along the Lebanese coast, whose pictures would be then published in the volume “Watercolor”. Awarded in 2013 with the International Prize Scanno “for his ability to combine information and poetry in every picture”, Jannoun is currently engaged in an additional project on the concept of belonging, which will become a travelling exhibition.

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