USE FOR FUN // Beirut is.

Park Tower Gallery - Sanayeh - 30 October / 6 November 2015

Ink 90 x 30 cm

I didn’t want to participate in an exhibition about Beirut.

My wife signed me up, and made me do it.

It was under threat and use of intimidation and oppression that I started working on this project, “Beirut is…” how do you define a city? Is it the architecture? The roads and the open spaces? Is it a river to the east and the sea to the west? Is Beirut the sum of its inhabitants? Their culture and traditions included?

I couldn’t summarize the city in one line, in one drawing so I did whatever a random “Fouad” would do, ask my best friend, Google.

For Google, Beirut has a stunning view from the sea which I never saw, awesome parties to which I never went, and beautiful women which I never encountered in my day to day life … Google disappointed me deeply…

In the eyes of the world Beirut is a sexy party animal with a short skirt and long dark hair, dancing the night away on rooftops and in beach clubs. These clichés flooding the web establish the current online reality ofthe city, its virtual identity.

Karantina is a desolate part of the city, once a flourishing junction point; it is now home to the local slaughterhouse and the city’s old dump. It is separated from the ‘inland’ by massive highways and arterial roads that facilitate the entrance to, and exit from the city to daily commuters. With no pedestrians, no promenades or public spaces, the only human presence there is me and the few fishermen pulling dead fish out of the polluted water.

Beirut remains up there, a beautifully painted mirage turning its back on us.

We remain here below, looking under her skirt…


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