LEBANON – IN A STATE OF UNREST
LEBANON – IN A STATE OF UNREST is a cooperation of a team between Vienna and Beirut. The exhibition consists of photo-documentary fragments that bear witness to a country that has been fractured in many ways: a place between tragedy and joy, sadness and creativity, poverty and prosperity, envy and solidarity. What all these pieces of the mosaic have in common is an attempt to get closer to a country that is not that far away from Austria.
The exhibition portrays around thirty people living in Lebanon and by that makes different realities visible that exist side by side: from a political activist, a survivor of the port explosion and a private school teacher to a refugee family on the Syrian border and the wild party scene in the capital. In the accompanying texts, the people portrayed tell their own stories – in German, English and Arabic. Visitors to the exhibition can thus immerse themselves in excerpts of individual realities of life, each of which is an example of a larger topic.
The fact that Lebanon is characterized by contrasts and ambiguities is also expressed in the title: “Unrest” refers to the multiple crises and changes in the country. “In a state of” can be read in two different ways: First, the people living in Lebanon are literally in a state of turmoil. On the other hand, the collective state of mind of the people described, is characterized by turmoil, insecurities, but also zest for action and the pursuit of lasting change.
The starting point of the initiative was a stay abroad by two Viennese women in Lebanon. In the beginning there was the confrontation with the country: economic crisis, port explosion, insecurity – revolution, dreams, solidarity. Then came the questions – and soon after, a variety of answers from the people followed. The project grew into a multi-headed team between Vienna and Beirut, German and Arabic, Alpine state and Mediterranean nation.
June 8, 2023, admission: 6:00 PM, program starts at 7:00 PM, drinks, snacks by Verein Mosaic
Music/classical Oud: Marwan Abado
Music/Party: Luna Al-Musli
Every day from 6 PM
Tue, June 13, guided tour special with Banan Sakbani (winner of speech contest ‘Sags Multi’, human rights activist, from Syria)
Registrations via email: email@example.com
Team: Collective Lachesis, Vienna/Beirut
“The nightlife has become elite: Partying is now only for Lebanese who have money and for Europeans. This creates a gap within society. In this sense, the nightlife mirrors real life.” Ralph, Lebanese DJ, founder of the party collective Retrogroove
“I am Austrian and Lebanese and love this simultaneity very much. For me, Austria means comfort and humor, Lebanon on the other hand is magic to me. At the moment I would like to stay a little longer in Lebanon – even though I call every cat ‘Schurli’ here (laughs).”
Michael, Austrian citizens with lebanese family background, currently studying in Beirut
“I am not sad because of what happened to me. I am sad because I love this place so much, and it hurts. We are trying to make a change, but it isn’t happening. The people we have lost in the blast – nobody is asking about them now. Today, everybody is living their lives as if nothing has happened. And sadly, I am one of them.”
Yara, activist and protester after the Beirut port explosion
“Everything is breaking down. It is an every-person-for-themselves kind of situation. From medication shortages to crazy high transportation costs, from malnutrition to mental health issues. We all need a mental break.”
Lea, medical doctor, specialised in mental health
Foto © Karin Gruber