I was sixteen the first time I went to a nightclub. I remember the end of a dark alley, walking past a series of generators, down some metal stairs to an underground venue that no longer exists. Everyone was dressed up – or down – performing themselves in a way that struck me as completely theatrical. But parties in Beirut are like the full moon to a werewolf: people get the opportunity to transform. They shed their daily selves, blow off steam, express themselves and see and are seen in a way that is less celebrated in the daylight.
As I grew up I started to photograph the nightlife scene. For years these parties seemed to be the only constant in my life. I took photos when my friends emigrated; when the revolution started; when my parents separated; when my friends came back; when the government fell; when the city changed.
The people I’ve photographed made Beirut liveable. If this were a bigger city they would have been strangers to me, but I know every single person imprinted on these rolls of film. We were on the streets together, marching, and on the dance floor at night. These photos are an attempt to build a bridge between two dreams; freedom, and escapism.