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Laura Boushnak February 27, 2012

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Lebanon.

Beirut, Lebanon 2010

Laura Boushnak (b. 1976, Kuwait) began her career covering news for the Associated Press in Lebanon. She later worked as a photo editor and photographer for Agence France-Presse (AFP) at its Middle East hub in Cyprus and its Paris headquarters. Her nine-year wire service experience included covering hard news in conflicts such as the war in Iraq and the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah war. Her work has been published in the New York Times, The Guardian, The National Geographic, The Independent, Le Monde and Liberation. Her photos has also been exhibited by museums and galleries in New York, Mumbai, Thessaloniki, Beijing, Cairo, Noorderlecht, Aleppo, Manama, Nicosia, Beirut, Oslo and Sarajevo. She received the Peace Media Award from the Peace x Peace organization (Washington, DC) in 2010. She is a founding member of RAWIYA collective.

About the Photograph

“This photograph is part of an ongoing project titled Out Of Beirut’s Project. It’s about the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and transsexual LGBT community in Beirut- probably the only city in the Arab world where homosexuality is openly discussed and up to a point accepted. I initially started the project for the World Press Photo Organization MENA training program 2010 on the theme ‘active citizenship’. Fortunately a friend of mine provided me with access to some activists, who were willing to be photographed. Most of them wanted to hide their identities and asked for their names to be changed for security reasons as they are faced with discrimination, threats and harassment. Sandy was one of the few who had accepted to show her identity, so during a pro secularism demonstration in Beirut, I kept following her while she was holding a placard which reads in Arabic: Feminism + Secularism = Freedom. “