Mini Interview with: Photographer Dalia Khamissy

Khamissy is a Beirut based photographer whose work revolves around socio-political stories in the Middle-East region.

The artist’s work explores the notions of refugees, borders, legal documents and the power they have in changing people’s lives; the artist is also known for documenting the aftermath of the several wars she has witnessed while growing up in Lebanon.

Khamissy’s pictures have been exhibited widely in Europe, South America, US and the MENA region and published in several international publications namely Le Monde,  Wall Street Journal and BBC online.


We had a quick conversation with the artist and these were her answers to our Five quick questions:


1- What’s the only thing you’d rather see with your eye and not through your lens?

“Myself! I just don’t like myself in photographs, I don’t think it is me I see there, and every time I am asked to send a portrait of myself for an interview etc, I am tortured for days. I try ignoring their request until I am pushed to send one. I often send an auto-portrait, as obviously it would be the easiest option, and then try to forget about the experience after I click send.”


2- The picture you’d never agree to take?

“The picture that would put any person in danger, including myself.”


3- As a child, what did you imagine you’d be when you grow up?

“Well I wanted to study chemistry and find a solution to kill all mosquitoes in the world.” Mosquitoes loved me as I was growing up and I used to be full of red spots because of it and anyone sleeping with me in the same room was automatically safe of mosquito bites.

Then I wanted to be a pilot, marine biologist, etc. When I graduated I studied architecture for two and a half years before I quit and decided to study photography.”


4- Who’s your favorite photographer/or picture and why?

“There are a few photographers/pictures that are on my favorites’ list and they keep adding up. Usually my favorite photographers are those whose work reminds me of paintings but those who are also modest and honest, the two last qualities are a must for me to have the photographer in my favorite list.”


5- In your opinion, what’s the worst thing that could become of photography?

“When photographers start thinking they are more important than their subjects and that they are saving the world through their photographs.”