blackbird spring 2002 vol.1 no. 1


CAMILLE ZAKHARIA  |  Elusive Homelands


The idea for this exhibition was conceived when I first met Camille during a visit to Bahrain in 2005. I was so stunned by the scope of his work that I urged him to consider submitting a proposal to Virginia Commonwealth University Qatar Gallery. I am very pleased that I have had the opportunity to curate this exhibition.

The unforeseeable and unfortunate war in the summer of 2006 that urged thousands of Lebanese and foreign citizens to leave Lebanon and seek shelter abroad has once more brought back into public memory the exodus that happened during that country’s civil war from 1976–1991. The current exhibition could not be more relevant than at this moment in time.

I am particularly grateful to my colleague and fellow VCU gallery Committee member Sally VanGorder, a photographer herself, for taking time to meet with Camille and contribute her ideas to the exhibition and its realization. The art historian Judy Bullington at the University of Sharjah has contributed an essay [to the exhibition catalogue] discussing the work of Camille Zakharia, for which I express my gratitude to her.

My thanks also go to my fellow members of the 2005/2006 Gallery Committee: Natalie Bailey, Brian Geary, Don Crow, and Muqeem Khan.

I am especially grateful to VCUQ graphic designer Sherry Blankenship for her vision in designing the exhibition catalogue. Many thanks also to Diana Woodcock at VCUQ for proofreading the manuscript at short notice.

—Jochen Sokoly

I thank Dr. Jochen Sokoly for all his efforts to organize Elusive Homelands. In addition, I thank my wife Sulaf for her continuous support over the years, and for her insightful text accompanying the Elusive Homelands works.

—Camille Zakharia