Lokman Mohsen Slim was a Lebanese publisher and independent social and political activist, who was well-known for being a critic of Iran-backed Hezbollah. Born in Lebanon, he studied philosophy in Paris. After returning to Lebanon, he founded the Dar al-Jadeed publishing house, where he offered established, controversial and new writers opportunities to engage with the public. In February 2021 he was shot and found dead in his car in Hezbollah-dominated southern Lebanon.
Slim established Umam Productions in 2001, a film company which eventually produced a variety of films such as Massaker, which he co-directed himself, winning an international film award in Berlin in 2005. The film had elements of psychology and politics, as it studied the crimes of six perpetrators and their roles in Lebanon’s 1982 Sabra and Shatila massacres, murdering between 1,000 and 3,000 Palestinian civilians in the Lebanese-Palestinian camps.
Umam Documentation and Research has long been organizing and creating an open archive of materials pertaining to the country’s history, on both social and political levels. According to peacebuilding resource for conflict zones Peace Insight, the non-profit organization has also facilitated and organized art exhibitions, film screenings and discussions to address peoples’ painful memories and thoughts on the Lebanese Civil War which took place between 1975 and 1990.
One of the company’s ongoing exhibits since 2008, entitled ‘Missing’, constitutes of a collage of photos which depicts some of the people who had gone missing during the civil war.