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For Donna Maria Feghali, founder and creative director of Retrieving Beirut, Lebanese identity and culture are nebulous concepts.These questions drive Retrieving Beirut's latest project, "SotwSoura," which combines a series of photos by Australian-Lebanese photographer Mary Paula Ibrahim with performances by six bands and solo musicians – staged Friday night at Karantina's KED art space. The musicians performing Friday are the subjects of Ibrahim's photo series.Away from SotwSoura, Ibrahim has found that many Lebanese are cautious around the camera.While all the musicians featured in the project are currently based in Lebanon, many of them, like Ibrahim, were not born in the country.Despite the variety of nationalities taking part in the project, Feghali considers it to be very much about Lebanese culture and identity.The "SotwSoura" project will relocate to Australia for the 2018 Big Sound festival in Brisbane, including several of the musicians involved in the Beirut performance, as well as Ibrahim and her photographs.For Feghali, the primary purpose of this is to continue the "cultural exchange" taking place between Australia's Lebanese diaspora and the Lebanese cultural scene.
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