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Brief von Christine Tohme, Leiterin von Ashkal Alwan, Beirut.Jul 2006
I am sure that you do not need me to tell you about the vitality of the art scene in Lebanon that has over the last decade provided a platform for experimentation and analysis for the region. The art community that has flourished and found voice in recent times is now faced with the same questions that we are/you are all faced with which is what to do in light of Israel's violent incursion on Lebanon. A medium that has characterized the Lebanese scene and has become its signature in the post civil war period is video. In this instance it provides not only the power to document but also to voice alternative narratives, to unravel historic constructs and to challenge more traditional media.
Rarely do audiences have direct opportunities to support such compelling artistic production, to join voice and hand in artistic expression. Additionally, given the aggressively interpretive role the news media play in representing and managing the positions and perspectives of dominant agendas, it is imperative for us to provide the realities of alternative personal, intimate and more nuanced narratives of those living and looking in the midst of this devastation of a nation's accomplishments and dreams.
Many local artists are eager and anxious to continue to work during this crisis not only as a means of resistance but also to inspect, present, analyze the many layers of reality and human experience that are currently at play at this critical juncture. Some feel the need to document, others are looking to provide an homage while others are simply looking to reverse the dynamic of helplessness into a creative active action.
I invite you to join artists in Lebanon as they continue to make urgent work. Production funds are practically unavailable and the financial situation is very difficult. We are expecting the situation to deteriorate and the attacks to intensify. In the face of that fear and disappointment, I urge you to add your voice to this compelling artistic process and encourage artists through donations of much needed production funds. Please see bank details below.
Lebanese Association for Plastic Arts
SOCIETE GENERALE DE BANQUE LIBANAISE (SGBL)
MAIN BRANCH SIN EL FIL BEIRUT
SWIFT CODE: SGLILBBX
ACCOUNT NUMBER: 001004360221121016
Hoping that this email finds you in the peace that we seek and good health.
Director, Ashkal Alwan