Al Rawiya

Aline Deschamps


I’m a French Thai photographer, and I focus mainly on subjects linked to identity issues. They can range from issues like migration and exile to cultural heritage, and the nexus between two cultures, because this is something that has been a huge part of my search for my own identity. I grew up in Thailand, then moved to France and then back to Thailand, because I felt the emptiness Bea described. I needed to get back to my roots basically.


Being a part of the diaspora is something I can relate to really well. I moved to Lebanon in 2019, so one of my first major experiences was the COVID confinement in early 2020. It was a stressful time, no one was outside and no one could socialize. And so I wanted to make a video that showed what I was seeing from my balcony: how people were creating and maintaining social connections from their balconies, even during confinement. Since the video was about Lebanon, and was taken in the middle of a health and economic crisis that the Lebanese were suffering from, I felt that it was important and more legitimate for me to have a Lebanese voice narrate the video. I started looking for pages that were highlighting Lebanese voices, and that’s where I found Bea. It was on a page called Letters to Beirut, and I read Empty Days (lyem Fadyeh’s translation into English). The content made so much sense in a Lebanese perspective, but also related to my own identity as being away from home.