As Beirut—in many ways the centre of Arab art—settles with the reverb of one of the most colossal tragedies in modern history, the collective Arab art and creative community has banded to extend unwavering support. The support isn’t just in mending scorched facades and devastated cultural sites, but to ensure Lebanon’s communities—already bearing the weight of revolution, economic collapse, and a global pandemic—are able to, at the very least, land on their feet.
The Beirut port explosion’s death toll continues to rise, now at 180, with at least 6,000 injured and 300,000 homeless. It has ravaged neighbourhoods, museums, heritage sites, galleries and art spaces. Be it actual homes or havens that housed Lebanon’s art communities, Arab creators and platforms are trying to MacGyver this cobwebbed inferno that has ripped through the Lebanese capital through screenings, playlists, relief funds, donations, auctions, and pro bono services offered to those affected.
You can order totes and prints by Lebanese artist Nour Flayhan on online concept store Dikkeni.
In a similar vein, an initiative titled ‘Artist Fundraiser for Beirut’ raised $6,000 during a 24-hour livestream where over 40 artists from all across the region and globe performed, hosted screenings, or even streamed podcasts. From Palestinian filmmaker Annemarie Jacir, podcasting powerhouse Kerning Cultures, and Egyptian journalist and author Alya Mooro among many other notable creatives, the event continued flooding in donations well after its wrap, and has donated its proceeds to the Lebanese Red Cross.
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