Tarek Haddad | A Room With Seven Roses

Country of origin: Lebanon
Project location: Beirut
Program: Arab Documentary Photography Program
Year: 2017

Between the visible and the unseen, what can be told and what must remain unsaid, A Room with Seven Roses explores the lives of a group of children affected by extreme and recurring traumatic experiences since their earliest days of existence. The resulting body of work is a visual collaboration between the photographer, the children, and psychologists who have worked with them, taking place in the transitory safe space they live in away from their original homes.

The traces across the space, the fleeting human presence, and the uncanny juxtaposed with the mundane elements of daily life, draw on notions of loss, the need for belonging, the fragility of identity in children, and the lasting effects of abuse, trauma, and neglect on people, especially when exposed at a young age.

In parallel, the project also taps into the limitations and restrictions of the genre of documentary photography. The story enforces anonymity and requires discretion in order to protect the identities of the children.

How can the story be conveyed without revealing too much?