Stories | 04 Nov 2013

The place is very cold and isolated. The only warmth here comes from the sparks of music and memories. The voice of my photographer friend coming via Skype in a half-written dialogue, interrupted by the continuous attempts to log in and the insomnia caused by technology in a country besieged by darkness and power outages and poor coverage ...

Between the attempts to log in there comes the details of a pixelated friend living in the war, coloured by its greyish hue. This is how he is imprinted in the memories of others now.

Here in this space the main accomplishment is a mere shot said to last forever, a shot the world might forget the photographer who took it, maybe tearing up, smiling, or shivering…

My friend, the photographer, tells me about the things he was not lucky enough to capture; his eyes glow like a camera flash when he remembers all the missed opportunities.

He does not know about the different types of lenses and their varying specifications. He does not care about the camera brand either. For him, these details are trivial in the time of war. Who cares anyway about the camera resolution if there is no one to really see the reality? What’s the point of having the copy rights of an image when the photographer is a wounded, unknown Syrian with no future deprived of all his rights?

He measures the horizon with his hearts and his professional eyes. He describes the ruins with an emoticon revealing to me his pain; a pain he cannot express with tears anymore. He celebrates his little victories over death with more shots; mixture of art and misery.
He disappears, and the little green dot next to his name is off.

I think about one of his photographs; one alive with sadness and despair. How those photos, those myriads of pixels, freeze us and put us on display for this so-called free world: wretched and barefoot victims facing our executioner.
A photo of a child smiling, another of the destruction in Damascus Suburbs, one of the Syrian coast hills… I travel with the album from one contradiction to another remembering his suffering to log in Skype, his intermittent voice, his blurred image.

The green dot is on again, he sends me a smile, ending the conversation with: “There is nothing to worry about here. Bye for now! It is time for the power cut”
I go through the album again. I decide to delete the conversation; I don’t want to leave the traces of the pain and destruction here, for war has no place in an inbox, neither a photographer laughter…

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