What happens to be one of the reasons tourists are attracted to Lebanon is also a source of tranquillity and inspiration for our artist, Alexandra Helou. Helou, a unique illustrator and animator, is at home with nature. The Lebanese mountains featured very early on in her work with quotes that would inspire anyone. Looking at her designs and going through her Instagram, one thing is apparent: She is as passionate as she is inspirational.
From heartfelt illustrations to her contributions to various Lebanese foundations, Helou is an inspiration to countless aspiring youth looking for ways to give back to their community. One of her most recognisable works is the "Uni(ted)" piece. Those unaware of the iconic and cultural significance of this work see just a chocolate bar. However, to the Lebanese community, it represents so much more. Uni(ted) is a play on one of Lebanon's last remaining home-produced chocolates, Unica. This chocolate bar can be found in every pantry across Lebanon. It is a treat that has been enjoyed by generations. It is utterly timeless and one of the few things in Lebanon that remain untouched by religious and social division.
Helou's piece is true to its title, "Uni(ted)," as it represents a cultural icon loved by the Lebanese community and diaspora. The famous illustration symbolises the newfound unity amongst the Lebanese, beyond a chocolate bar, focused on a future we all dream of.
Helou's playful take on Unica's iconic wrapper can be found on our Dikkéni website. Although it's quirky nature is one of the reasons we decided to showcase this piece, it's the message behind the piece that drew us to this illustration!
Alexandra's illustrations played a significant role throughout the Lebanese revolution. Her work resonated with many, so it is no wonder that she drew as her inspiration directly from the unity found on the streets. Her powerful messages, portrayed through her artwork, sailed across the world and were found on the streets of global cities, held high with pride.
Alexandra's artistic talent is not her only contribution to her community's cause. Her drive and determination in empowering the people led her to collaborate with many local NGOs and foundations, from designing sweaters to holding a Revolution exhibition in hopes of raising awareness and donations.
Helou has proven to be an artist with purpose, passion and drive. We are so proud to hold Alexandra's illustrations and encourage you to support her work through #purchaseforapurpose here. You will be nothing short of inspired!
Why not inspire a friend by sending them the Uni(ted) postcard?