Sitting down and trying to find the words to articulate what happened in Beirut is near impossible; actually, it is impossible. It took precisely 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate on the 4th of August 2020 to rip through the city, bringing homes, museums, and studios to the ground. 300,000 displaced and 6,000 injured so far.
How do you find the words?
Beirut, a canvas of dreams to many, was once again on her knees. Streets and alleyways decorated with bright colours, echoing laughter, and buzzing energy are now nothing but debris and broken glass. Once again, like many, we find ourselves mourning our losses: A city that is romantic in its nature, loving through its community, and strong throughout its history, feels like it has been made to use its 9th life.
The Beirut Art community took a big hit, it's people and areas are amongst the most affected. Mar Mkhayel and Gemmeyzeh, two areas that are known for housing both the nightlife in Beirut and the city's creatives, were severely damaged by the explosion. Leaving around seven billion dollars worth of devastation. Keep in mind that this stated number is only the material cost of the destruction.
What about the emotional cost?
Designers and artists have lost everything and have to start from ground zero once again. They find themselves surrounded by the dust of their life's work with nothing left but rubble. Sarah's bags, Plastik, Bokja Design, are just three examples of the 100's that lost their studios and ateliers to the explosion. Despite such losses, various Grassroot efforts by artists have been organized to raise funds for those affected. Promising all proceeds and aid to be distributed to the Beirut art community and its peers. It is more than heartwarming to see the community efforts in supporting one another. Slowly but surely, building each other up, and rebuilding our city as well as our dreams.
The destruction of the Beirut Art community, just like the rest of the city, pains us at Dikkéni. We were born to highlight the beauty and talent of the creatives of Lebanon. We were born to allow them opportunities to reach the world. We were born to empower and strengthen them. We were born to remind them of how truly talented and empowering they are.
Through our endless interviews, chitter-chatter, and WhatsApp group chats, our artists have made one thing clear to us; Beirut is not only their home and place of work but is also their source of inspiration and beacon of hope.
So, what now?
We are more determined than ever. More focused than ever. Now, more than ever, we want to tell the story of the creatives that are the heart and soul of Beirut.
Now, more than ever, your #purchaseforapurpose matters.