Skip to main content

East Wing presents a solo exhibition of work by George Awde. Fragile States chronicles the transitory existence of a group of young men and boys – many of them migrant laborers, emigrants from Syria and Syrian Kurdistan living in the context of Beirut. Intermixed with these quiet intimate portraits are landscapes and still lives, which together raise questions around masculinity, citizenship, and the fragile state between adolescence and manhood.

Considering both land and body, Awde’s work explores the scars of the flesh with those of the soil. As these men grow and change, the photographs capture physical marks – in the form of tattoos and cuts – giving hints of struggle and survival. Likewise, the landscape allows us to consider our states of belonging. Fragile States is a collaborative exchange photographed over a number of years. These photographs act as witness to the subtle passing of time and coming of age for these young men who are caught in-between their unstable homeland and the challenges they face in the margins of Beirut.

George Awde, was born in Boston of Lebanese origin, he studied painting at the Massachusetts College of Art (2004) and received his MFA in Photography from Yale University School of Art (2009). His awards include the Aaron Siskind Foundation’s Individual Photographer’s Fellowship (2012), Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Photography Portfolio Competition (2012), Fulbright US Scholar Grant to Egypt (2012-2013), Alice Kimball English Travel Fellowship (2009), and The Richard Benson Scholarship for Excellence in Photography (2008). In 2015 Awde will be an artist in residence at Light Work in Syracuse, New York.