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Thursday, October 28, 2021

Beirut - On the Edge of Civil War

In August of 2020 a massive explosion rocked the city of Beirut Lebanon. There were 218 deaths and over 7,000 injuries. The explosion destroyed most of the city, leveling buildings and blowing out the windows of almost every structure in the city center.

While the specifics of the explosion are still under investigation, a year and a half after the explosion, the city has still not recovered. Politics and extremism have caused constant delays in the investigation and a country already riddled with poverty and despair has only deepened the impact of the explosion and the instability of the country. 

In October of 2021 a massive protest rally regarding the handling of the investigation turned the city into a war zone when snipers, rocket propelled grenades and B7 rockets were fired into the protestors. The country sits on the edge of complete chaos as its capitol is besieged. 

This art form is called Crisis Art. It is based on actual video and file footage of the crisis captured during the crisis event. This can include video from news or independent sources captured on anything from an IPhone to Video Cameras.

The process involves reviewing video taken in and around the crisis and isolating single frames of the video which are then screen captured as a low resolution image. The image is then transformed to a surreal high resolution piece of art which captures both the essence of the crisis and elements that create an emotional surreal view of the crisis at hand.

So whats the point? The point is to make you see a crisis differently than you would from just news stories and highlights. It meant to make you stop and think. Stop and evaluate. Stop and become emotional. Surrealism makes you look twice. It tells the event as a story which captures the imagination and attention. When you can present something as a tale, even something as horrible as death, war and mayhem, you allow the mind to grapple with the situation rather than casting it away as too much for the heart to conceive. 

In 2020 the first Crisis Point series was created to detail the original explosion. In 2021 a second series was created to detail the cities plunge into chaos. 

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