Legacy in Stone: Syria Before War
by Kevin Bubriski (Nepal 1975-78)
Legacy in Stone: Syria Before War is a collection of 100 black-and-white photographs immortalizing the ancient monuments of Syria.
Kevin Bubriski was on assignment in Syria in 2003, during the infancy of the U.S. war in neighboring Iraq. He was photographing the country’s ancient monuments, as well as documenting the daily lives and ordinary human stories of its citizens. Unbeknownst to him, within the decade, a war would break out in Syria, and destroy or damage much of what he had photographed.
Until the Syrian civil war in 2010, the Suq in Aleppo was considered to be the longest continuously inhabited place of commerce in the world, existing for well over two millennia. Bubriski photographed the Suq while it was still thriving, teeming with merchants and artisans. He also captured stunning, decisive images from the Dead Cities, the basilica of St. Simeon, the pilgrimage sites of Serjilla, al-Bara, Kharab Shams, Mushabak, Baqirha, Qalb Lozeh, Resafe, early Islamic sites near Raqqa, and the ancient Roman trade cities of Apamea and Palmyra.
Bubriski recalls a special sense of discovery and awe being in a place of such rich history and haunting beauty. He remembers holding his breath and seeing the ruins take shape on the ground-glass of his Hasselblad camera as he gathered and preserved these sites forever in photographs.