لمحة - الحلقة الحادية عشر: مجموعة أوجين كوتار
لمحة هي بودكاست من إعداد المؤ سسة العربية للصورة بهدف تقديم المجموعات الموجودة
arabimagefoundation.org في عهدتها عبر سلسلة من المقتطفات القصيرة. للمزيد، زوروا
.تم الإنتاج بالتعاون مع تيونفورك ستوديوز في بيروت
"Lamha" is a podcast put together by the Arab Image Foundation with the aim of presenting the collections in its custody through a series of short snippets. For more, visit arabimagefoundation.org.
0300co00023, 0300co – Eugène Cottard collection, courtesy of the Arab Image Foundation, Beirut.
Produced in collaboration with Tunefork Studios, Beirut.
This podcast was first featured in Issue 2022.01 of AIF's monthly stories:
Eugène Cottard was a French doctor. Born in Annecy, France in 1873, he moved to modern-day Lebanon (then-Greater Syria) in 1908 to work as a surgeon. Upon his arrival to the port of Beirut, Cottard was taken aback by how different his newfound home seemed to be, the weather, landscape, and culture so unlike what he had in mind. He quietly observed this new reality of his, and attempted to document it through a stereo camera, a device with two lenses that functions by emulating human vision, capturing the same view twice from each lens. The resulting image is printed on a glass plate and can be viewed with a special binocular-like device called a stereoscope, which produces a three-dimensional view of the image.
Cottard lived with his family in the Kantari area in Beirut until 1914, when he enlisted in the French army. Four years later, with the first world war coming to an end, he returned to Beirut, and his wife came to pass shortly after. He mourned her death by going on expeditions across Greater Syria and Mesopotamia, ultimately reaching Iran (Persia). He then remarried and resumed his voyage, traveling to modern-day Jordan, Palestine, and Egypt. Cottard helped to co-found the Hôtel-Dieu de France hospital in Beirut, where he worked as a physician and lecturer until he retired in 1946.
The Eugène Cottard collection comprises 1,229 images, captured by Cottard during the time he spent in Greater Syria. These views document the evolution of social life and the industrial developments over the span of forty critical years in the history of the country and the region.
Unlike many such pictures taken at the time, the images in this collection shy away from romanticizing the local landscape or fetishizing the provincial residents and communities. Armed with his stereo camera, Cottard would simply capture the commonplace, if often mundane, views he came across every day. While professional photographers who visited the region were typically interested in documenting the city center, Cottard favoured the residential neighborhoods of the suburbs of Beirut – including Ghalghoul, Zokak el-Blatt, and Ras el-Nabeh – as well as other tourist attractions in the coastal cities of modern-day Lebanon and the region.
Cottard’s images are akin to a visual diary, through which he attempted to make sense of this new world he inhabited, and the places and sites he frequented. This collection is an important record to historians, researchers, and amateurs alike, and a helpful tool that allows the viewer to accompany Cottard on his journeys and promenades, and to experience these familiar landscapes in the same curiosity and novelty that Cottard managed to capture.
You can explore this collection on our digital platform through the link below.