“Four Hands Can’t Clap” is born out of an investigation on the human desire of love. Originally, AlKouh set out to Syrian refugee camps to document the triumph of romance in a war inflicted circumstance. However, what he discovered was a series of broken love stories very similar to ones we experience outside of conflict. Greed, betrayal, and adultery led to the heartbreak of stealthy men, who survived the war in Syria but have not survived the haunt of their beloved.
AlKouh works to capture the memory of happiness and hope in these men who are numbed by stories of conflict but touched by the memory of their loved one.
Four Hands Can’t Clap plays on the Arabic expression “One hand can’t clap”. Despite the war torn conditions of these portraits, there seems to exist a prevalence of common heartbreak stories. The human need for love is once again defeated by family values, social expectations, and economic motivations. If love were to conquer all, then perhaps we would not have reached this place to begin with.
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