GAD Map: Arts & Culture Relief for Beirut
By Sarah Daher
Published on August 16, 2020
Map by Global Art Daily’s Editorial Board
2020 will forever be remembered as the year when everything that could have gone wrong did. For many, the feelings of hopelessness this year’s tragedies brought with them were new and confusing. For the people of Lebanon, both the 4 million within its borders and the 14 million scattered across the globe, those feelings were unfortunately most familiar. As a young Lebanese creative living abroad in London, my physical removedness from Beirut’s blast a few weeks ago did nothing to quell the grief, anger, and distress that erupted in every Lebanese person in an unprecedented way on August 4th.
Galleries, museums, studios, bookstores, artist haunts, and designers that were the beating heart of the Beiruti scene are in urgent need of donations in order to restore spirit to a now dispirited city.
The map below marks the many sites where donations are being collected towards a number of initiatives working to rebuild Beirut and its ripe arts landscape. As a proud Lebanese I could selfishly implore you to donate to this cause simply because I believe in it, but I don’t think I need to do that. These institutions speak for themselves, I need only invite you to click on a few of these links and I am certain you’ll feel the infectious buzz of a people bursting to express their creativity once again.
For all the Lebanese are renowned: their rich culture and cuisine, their stunning landscape and people, and their warmth and generosity this tiniest of nations has suffered an inordinate amount. It is this dramatic juxtaposition of ill fortune and stubbornly enterprising creativity that has generated what you might call the Lebanese myth; the Lebanese epithet is “resilient”. But riddle me this: is it resilience to weather corruption that means homes lack electricity 20 hours a day, to have saved money in the bank for years but not have access to a single penny because the banking system has collapsed, to work for a meagre 50 cents an hour at a port that negligently houses an explosive that will decimate your entire city on the day you were working overtime to feed your family an overpriced loaf of bread? Resilience is too reductive a word for this.
Lebanon has many deeply ingrained problems, most of which money cannot solve. But a city once buzzing with a unique brand of vibrantly creative energy is today a pile of rubble. Galleries, museums, studios, bookstores, artist haunts, and designers that were the beating heart of the Beiruti scene are in urgent need of donations in order to restore spirit to a now dispirited city.
GAD Map Disclaimers:Global Art Daily is not affiliated with any of the institutions, businesses, and artist studios listed in the ‘GAD Map: Arts & Culture Relief for Beirut’. We do not make any commission on donations. All proceeds will go directly to the funds linked. We are not endorsing blind donations and encourage everyone to do their own research prior to donating. Please contact the appropriate fund managers directly to know about their most pressing needs and preferred bank or currencies transfers. All images in the map have been sourced from the different initiatives. If you would like your initiative to be listed too, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or DM us on Instagram.
Sarah Daher cares about the role of art in building and preserving communities and shared identities. She is a curator and researcher who graduated with a BA in Theater and Economics from New York University Abu Dhabi and is currently completing her Masters in Curating Contemporary Art at the Royal College of Art in London. She is based between the UAE and London.