5 MIN­UTES WITH PA­TRICK BAZ

AUTHOR OF “CHRIS­TIANS OF LE­BANON”

Lebanon Traveler - - EDITOR'S PICKS -

YOU ARE A RENOWNED WAR PHO­TOG­RA­PHER. WHAT MADE YOU SHIFT FROM DOC­U­MENT­ING WAR TO DOC­U­MENT­ING CHRIS­TIAN­ITY IN LE­BANON?

Af­ter I ended my long ca­reer as an in­ter­na­tional war pho­tog­ra­pher, I de­cided to re­turn to my beloved Le­banon to recharge my bat­ter­ies. When I came back in 2015, the whole re­gion was in tur­moil over the mas­sacre of dif­fer­ent mi­nori­ties at the hand of ex­trem­ist groups.

Hav­ing con­versed with mem­bers of the Chris­tian com­mu­nity, one ques­tion was con­stantly re­peated: “What will be­come of us?” They looked at me as if I held all the an­swers.

So, af­ter pho­tograph­ing death for three decades, I chose to pho­to­graph life.

WHAT MES­SAGE DO YOU SEEK TO DE­LIVER IN YOUR NEW BOOK?

I never in­tended to de­liver a mes­sage or take a his­tor­i­cal or the­matic ap­proach to the sub­ject, but rather a vis­ual and hu­man­is­tic one, de­void of judge­ment. I just cap­tured what I saw.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE CHRIS­TIAN­ITY?

I don’t think there is a bet­ter way to por­tray the cur­rent sit­u­a­tion of Le­banon’s Chris­tians than through a vis­ual tes­ti­mo­nial. I em­barked on a jour­ney to dis­cover the com­mu­nity I tech­ni­cally be­long to - the very com­mu­nity I grew up in.

ARE YOU IN­TER­ESTED IN DOC­U­MENT­ING OTHER RE­LI­GIONS?

I would love to doc­u­ment other re­li­gions and com­mu­ni­ties, but it’s a long process. “Chris­tians of Le­banon” is avail­able at book­shops around the coun­try and on­line for 90,000 LBP (60 USD).

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