Hussein Haddad is a Syrian photographer who was working in Damascus before the revolution began. A few months before the uprising, Haddad started working on a documentary project that he called “Damascus; The Body.” His project had numerous goals, including to support photography as an art by training and publishing photos.
Haddad was born in the city of Hama in 1981, and began working in graphic design in 2001, when he was studying at the management and information systems at Aleppo University. In 2005, he devoted his life to photography in Damascus. Since then, he has come to believe that photography is a way life, and that it is with him wherever he goes.
Despite the important role digital photography plays in media, Haddad photographs in black-and-white and manually develops his print negatives. He pays close attention to both the lighting of his imagery, as well as the subject in focus.
After the advent of the Syrian revolution, Haddad was active on the ground. He chose to join other anti-regime activists and became a citizen journalist, using his basic cell phone camera to capture photos of the revolution. He designed posters, produced newspapers and delivered news to the outside world. He also helped train activists and those with an interest in photography and graphic design.
Despite the difficulty in composing the perfect shot in the face of the regime’s violence, and the difficult security situation, Haddad managed to be artistic in these circumstances.
Haddad believes the revolution represents “an unveiling of the country, introducing us to its details.” He says the revolution is necessary in order to “bring about change and build the nation that we all dream of.” The Syria that people are anticipating “will take a lot of time to reach, considering the problems created by the regime that has enslaved us for decades.”
“I am experiencing resistance in this revolution. I am no longer just reading history books about revolutions and legendary acts of heroism. We are a brave people, brought to life by the revolution. I feel bad for those who did not join,” he said.
The photographer commented on his art in relation to the revolution.
“No one photographs something they want to forget,” he said. “The challenge of photography is patience. Lively images play an important role in developing people’s emotions. Art is a way of life, and my next goal is to enter into cinematography. I know that my experiences so far are only just the beginning.”
Hussein Haddad’s Facebook profile