I fear Lebanese artists will become refugees

I fear Lebanese artists will become refugees

Judgment Day, by Faten Khalil

Arleb by Nabad interviews established artist Faten Khalil whose works have been exhibited in the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Lebanon, Montenegro, Italy, Belgium…  

Arleb by Nabad – What is the experience that has influenced your work in the arts and culture field the most? Which subjects or themes are you working on?

Faten Khalil – “Melancholy”, with all its humanitarian reasons, was the main cause behind defining my objective directions in the approach to the works that I present. I even chose this topic as the subject of my master’s degree in Plastic Arts. I usually focus on the topics related to children and women in my work, in addition to their position in this fierce world where justice should take place.

Arleb by Nabad – What is your creative process like?

Faten Khalil – I believe that my creative career is stable in terms of dealing with human pain in all its forms, interspersed with a long break because I devoted myself to motherhood. As soon as I returned to art, I had a more realistic view and awareness of everything that surrounds me as a woman, mother and artist, like the fall of the great humanitarian principles that should be respected and adopted by humans, but instead the human chose the love of power and rushed into conflicts.

Arleb by Nabad – What was the impact of the Beirut port explosions (August 4, 2020) on your work as an artist/creative enterprise?

Faten Khalil – Like any other Lebanese citizen, the incident was a shock for me, especially that I live in the Mar Mikhael area near the site of the explosion which destroyed most of my workplace items and damaged more than eight drawings that I was working on. I had a real pain which still exists to this day, along with a terrible feeling of insecurity. I think such a case is that of every Lebanese, whether he/she is an artist or not.

Arleb by Nabad – What are, according to you, the roles of arts and culture in social, economic, environmental or political change?

Faten Khalil – According to my opinion, the sector of arts and culture is no less important than the rest of the vital sectors that make up any civilized country in the world. However, it surpasses it in terms of being the door for the rapprochement among peoples and thus to be open to civilizations. This automatically paves the way for a more comprehensive knowledge and greater awareness of the remaining vital facilities, whether social, environmental, economic or political.

Arleb by Nabad – What are, according to you, the main challenges/obstacles facing artists/creative enterprises in Lebanon nowadays?

Faten Khalil – The spread of the Coronavirus and internal political conflicts have constituted two critical points on which the future of the entire country, not just the arts sector, depends. To be more specific, I fear that, due to these difficult circumstances, the Lebanese artist will become a refugee in his/her country and abroad, especially with the disruption of most of the creative projects in Beirut or what we call(ed) “The Switzerland of the Middle East”.