What's ours

Myriam Boulos

2019 - Ongoing


In October 2019, entire forests in Lebanon were in flames, and the government did nothing about it.

I remember sitting on my balcony that night, not knowing anything about these fires, but feeling very deeply that something was happening.

It was a full moon.

Later that month, the country was hit by an economic crisis, right after which the revolution started.

The revolution started in Lebanon on the 17th of October 2019.

Since then, everything has been emotionally and physically draining and confusing but also beautiful, sad and awakening.

It all felt as if we were coming out of an abusive relationship to finally say: No, this is not normal.

These images and words are part of a much bigger documentation.

As an Arab woman, I think it is necessary to document my country from a local and personal point of view.

It is a way of representing the intertwined struggles we face every day, but it is also a way of defying western narrative and control over us. We are not numbers or statistics.

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  • During the first days of the revolution, the proximity between the bodies and skins fascinated me.
    It was the first time that we were together in the streets.
    It was the first time that we claimed our places, our city, our country, together.

  • My friends and I used to take pictures naked in the streets of Beirut.
    It was our own way of reclaiming our streets and our bodies. Everything that is supposed to be ours.

  • Fire and broken glass spoke to me more than well-articulated slogans.

  • Some people said that my images don’t represent us.

  • Lebanon is so contrasted that I still don’t know what "us" is.

  • Monday, 13 Jan 2020
    Beirut, Lebanon
    The revolution is rising again.
    Same feeling of big wave swallowing me.
    Forgetting everything else.
    Not responding to e-mails.
    Not looking at myself in the mirror.
    It is weird how the place of the body changes in time of crises. (It is as if I erase its image.
    Also I wonder if people are having sex.
    A few months ago a friend told me that she needed to have sex so badly that she would wake up in the middle of the night crying.)

  • Monday, 20 Jan 2020
    Beirut, Lebanon
    Tonight in the teargas I took all my pictures with eyes closed.
    They say the moment of a picture is a black out.
    I wonder if I don't look at these emotions, will they disappear?

  • Lebanon, Beirut, on the 10th of January 2020
    Karen in Demo (a bar in Gemmayzeh).
    “At some point the riot police was coming towards me to hit me and he was screaming ‘who’s the man here?’
    I expect huge violence from the revolution.”

  • Lebanon, Beirut, on the 31st of December 2019
    We’re celebrating new year’s eve in Martyr square.
    After taking their picture, some men sexually assaulted me and my friends.
    I went from smiling at them to screaming and shouting at them.

  • It makes me think of the man I photographed with my flash, because he was jerking off in front off my car window while looking at me.

  • Lebanon, Beirut, on the 9th of February 2020
    It’s snowing and my grandmother’s temperature is at 35degres. She is confused.
    We give her crosswords to keep her grounded. She finds the word “ressentir” (to feel).

  • Lebanon, Beirut, on the 7th of December 2019
    My pants after a march against sexual harassment.
    Yasmine told me that this march was one of the best moments of her life.
    She also said “At the end of the march, a man standing next to me set himself on fire at the public square because he was hungry.
    He didn’t die. I haven’t processed it. Nor my new fear of sunsets.”

  • 11th of February 2020, A teargas explodes on my arm.

    15th of February 2020, My grandmother is at the hospital.

  • August 3, 2020
    Beirut, Lebanon
    I don't know if it's the emotions/ hormones or maybe it is the weather, but my hair and my plants are growing, way too quickly.
    Karen told me that some plants grow a lot, before dying.
    (I answered that some men have an erection, before dying.)