The Circular Ruins

In a world where the course of violence is reversed, would tears roll down our brows? And would blood join the sea of heaven?

Heroes die because the world turns,

turns around the sun,

which itself is dying.

In the glow of the separations that created us, I headed back to Syria in search of memories of celebrations in a country in ruins. Unable to return to this fallen country, I'm staying in another, which I call Nabil*.

To avoid being mistaken for a spy, I will inherit three different identities**.

Guided by the burning sun, trapped by insurmountable borders, I follow the disaster back to its origins, to the walls, deprived of speech, among the ghosts of war and history. I glimpse the fire that both creates and destroys, the evidence that repeats itself ad infinitum, the mirage of hopes resigned to the sacrifice of their illusions.

Like an antiphon, the paths of existence are subject to the laws of politics, chance and poetic accidents.

Drawing on writings from philosophy, literature, and poetry - in particular the work of Etel Adnan, Jorge Luis Borges, and Mahmoud Darwich - The Circular Ruins is anchored in the territory of southern Lebanon, in this case, called Nabil, an emblematic and empirical example of the perpetual restarting of events, particularly of the violence. Like a photographic essay, The Circular Ruins traces the thread of disaster back to its origins, right up to the walls, subject to the laws of politics, chance, and poetic accidents.

*Lebanon / Liban (in French) upside down

**Lina Bitar, Orianne Olive et Marianne Ciantar

© Orianne Ciantar Olive - The blast II
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The blast II

© Orianne Ciantar Olive - That fire in your hand.
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That fire in your hand.

© Orianne Ciantar Olive - "My eyes,"  you said, "Everything has a beginning, and everything has an end. In the middle, we sing.
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"My eyes," you said, "Everything has a beginning, and everything has an end. In the middle, we sing.

© Orianne Ciantar Olive - The prostrate. One of a series of 4 images.
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The prostrate. One of a series of 4 images.

© Orianne Ciantar Olive - The blast.
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The blast.

© Orianne Ciantar Olive - Khiam prison.
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Khiam prison.

© Orianne Ciantar Olive - The twins.
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The twins.

© Orianne Ciantar Olive - In my name. Photograph taken on redscale and then solarised.
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In my name. Photograph taken on redscale and then solarised.

© Orianne Ciantar Olive - Image from the The Circular Ruins photography project
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The leaning tree. Using the principle of turning things upside down, with the sun as a common thread, I used the redscale technique to photograph. So I photographed on the back of my films.

© Orianne Ciantar Olive - Sunrise to sunset.
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Sunrise to sunset.

© Orianne Ciantar Olive - Coffee grounds.
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Coffee grounds.

© Orianne Ciantar Olive - What will be left when we start again? Except a pile of ashes on which will rest a red rose.
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What will be left when we start again? Except a pile of ashes on which will rest a red rose.

© Orianne Ciantar Olive - The trees were black and gold when I was Lina Bitar.
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The trees were black and gold when I was Lina Bitar.

© Orianne Ciantar Olive - What if the sun rose in the west? Where would the Phoenix bury its father?
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What if the sun rose in the west? Where would the Phoenix bury its father?

© Orianne Ciantar Olive - The wall all along Kfar Kila.
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The wall all along Kfar Kila.

© Orianne Ciantar Olive - The moon.
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The moon.

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The Circular Ruins by Orianne Ciantar Olive

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