Marwan TahTah’s childhood love of photographs and encouragement from is uncle guided him towards choosing a career as a photographer. In his youth he independently studied the lives of photographers and photographic images. In 2005 he enrolled in the Technical College for Film and Video and attended a photography workshop at the Russian Cultural Center .
Marwan TahTah considers the July 2006 war as his most dangerous time as a photojournalists. He recalls a disconcerting incidence when he entered the town of Al Dahiyet with an associate, one week after the beginning of the war, “It was nighttime and we were walking down the desolate streets. Often people on the streets are considered ‘hazards’ and targeted by the militia. At any moment we could have become a statistic. Fortunately, we escaped unharmed that night.”
According to Marwan TahTah “An ideal photographic image should emphasize the moment the event occurs. Timing is of paramount importance. The meaning of the imagery in a photo can vary from one second to the next and determine the effectiveness and impact of the event. The camera is a window and the photograph provides the view for those who can’t personally witness the event. A camera is vital for uncovering truth”.
As a photojournalist Marwan TahTah does not interpose his opinions in his photographs, rather he shoots his subject matter from different perspectives. He believes that taking photos and helping someone in danger are of equal importance, “My job is two fold. I need to work fast. I need to capture the event in photographs and help those in danger.”
The political unsteadiness in Lebanon concerns Marwan TahTah because it is a deterrent to portraying the truth. He says, “People on the streets are leery of the camera. Photographers are often insulted and beaten. The photographer’s freedom is limited and this adversely affects their career.” As a photojournalist he is not numb to the horrendous events he encounters, in fact, he is highly sensitive and carries what he has witnessed with him. His objective is to accurately document the impact of the Israeli violence and aggression on the Lebanese land and people.
His message for Lebanese youth is: “The new generation should learn from the past. Awareness begins at home, continues in schools and is nourished in universities. It is important for Lebanese people to be aware and alert so that the same deplorable mistakes are not repeated.”
• Name and Surname: Marwan TahTah
• Place of birth: Beirut , Lebanon
• Date of birth: 1981
• Agency employment “Al Akhbar” newspaper.
• Length of Career: 2000 to present.
By Sevana Semerdjian