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Alfonso Moral April 25, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Lebanon.
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Druze leader Cheij Abu Suleiman Ali Al-Kademi, Funeral 2007

Born in Valladolid, Spain in 1977, Alfonso Moral graduated from the University of Valladolid and worked as a staff photographer for the Spanish newpaper El Norte del Castiliano. He later moved to Syria and began focusing on the Middle East from where he covered Lebanon, Palestine and Iraq in addition to elections in Afgansthan and the Hezbollah movement in Southern Lebanon. Moral won the Revela photojournalism grant for his work on the Palestinian refugees. His photographs have been featured in El Pais and Newsweek amongst other publications. He is currently based in Barcelona and is represented by Pandora Foto in Spain and Cosmos in France.

About the Photograph:

“I arrived in the town of Rassaye with the intent of photographing the daily life of the Druze from southern Lebanon. It seemed difficult because the day was typical of December in that part of the country, very cold and rainy. Nobody was eager to go out on the street. Throughout the journey from Beirut all villages were empty. A few kilometres from Rassaye there was a procession of hundreds of Druze in vans and minibuses. When I asked one the drivers he said the night before one of great leaders, Cheij Suleiman Abu Ali Al-Kademi, at the age of 111 years was going to be buried. The funeral brought together the highest Druze religious authorities and many neighbors who sang while waiting the arrival of the coffin. The photograph was taken while awaiting the arrival of Cheij. Perhaps the most striking are the Druze dresses, with their distinctive white caps. If placed as points of light forming lines that contrast with the austere space.”

Alfonso’s comment drives home how often strong work can result from the way the photographer reacts to the situation they are in. Maybe this quality is just as important as being able to compose such a fine image? What do you think?

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