fouad elkoury was born in 1952 in paris. after graduating with a degree in architecture from the aa (architectural association) in london in 1979, he turned to photography and depicted beirut during the civil war. in 1984 he published beyrouth aller-retour, a book on the life of a war-torn city. the following year he turned his lens on egyptian cinema, while simultaneously undertaking a series of portraits of arab authors. his work on the urban landscape of marseille resulted in an exhibition at the musée de la vieille charité (1986) and developed into a sustained interest in photographing cities: rome, amman, djibouti.
in 1989 elkoury joined the rapho agency and won the ‘prix medicis hors les murs’, before spending a year in egypt retracing the steps of gustave flaubert and maxime du camp. in 1991 he created a series on downtown beirut, capturing the aftermath of war, published in the albumbeirut city centre (editions du cyprès) and presented in an exhibition at the paris palais de tokyo in 1993. the book has since become a landmark in the history of photography.
in 1997, he co-founded the arab image foundation, which archives and promotes photography from the surrounding region. elkoury premiered his first video, lettres à francine, in 2002 when he exhibited at the maison européenne de la photographie, paris.
in 2005 elkoury began working on two distinct works, the photographic project civilisation, fake = real? and the video welcome to beirut. following the summer 2006 war in lebanon, he created the photographic diary on war and love. the series was first exhibited at galerie tanit, munich, and then at the 2007 venice biennale.
between 2008 and 2009, elkoury developed a new project entitled what happened to my dreams, which was simultaneously exhibited in dubai, paris and beirut. it is a photographic series addressing a range of contemporary socio-political issues, a natural extension of themes he has been exploring throughout his career.
fouad elkoury lives between beirut and paris.