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Houssen Soufan

When I was 17-years ago, I walked down to a place we call “Jisr Al-Rais” (President’s Bridge) in the heart of Damascus, near the original campus of the Syrian University. A Russian peddler was selling cameras, and having dreamt of owning my own since childhood, I bought a Zenit K122 SLR (35mm) for 3,000 SP. Back then that was an astronomical sums enough for the monthly living any high school sweetheart. Somewhere in my archives I still have that photograph although over the years I have taken thousands of other photos. Just like a first car drive, a first kiss, or a first job, that photographs remains imprinted in my mind until today. Photos still stories still untold.

I have always liked this statement because photography is a speculative interpretation of life. It questions perceptions of reality. In my work, I want to examine the relationship between photography and reality and stimulate the viewer to project her or his own interpretation, thus becoming an integral part of the creative process. I reject the kind of photography, which runs off an ever-revolving template and creates glossy views of life and glamorized faces retouched beyond recognition. In my photographs of people, I aim to de-construct glamor by exposing people’s natural beauty and the person within a body.

Write the stories behind the photographs! Most of us could tell any number of stories from the pictures hanging on our walls, or gracing our mantels and bookshelves. Opening our albums, we have whole novels and films about lives lived or the details of the important events in our lives.

I’m a Street Photographer and I tell stories with my camera. Street Photography is a heart beating to the rhythm of Urban Life, a curious look capable to find out the stories and hallucinations that every street puts in scene. I don’t think street photography must necessarily be photography of real, breathing people. I enjoy chasing the parallel life of the anthropomorphic images that silently inhabit the city spaces. Revealing their solitary dramas and unraveling.

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  • Damascus, Syria