A Lebanese artist Hayat Nazer has created an inspiring statue out of broken glass and rubble from the Beirut port explosion, which killed nearly 190 people and injured about 6,000. According to CNN, the 33-year-old doesn’t remember a time when Lebanon was at peace, however, she has learned to channel her grief into beautiful works of art. While speaking to the media outlet, she said that the explosion had broken her heart and left her just devastated, but she decided to join the efforts to clean the debris and restore the city to its former glory.
Hayat, who is a multidisciplinary artists, revealed that she got the idea to use some of what she found to create a statue that could inspire her people to unite and rebuild. She said that whenever she is feeling traumatised or devastated she just tries “to help, fix and heal through art”. She added that this is her way of accepting reality and trying to build her people and the country back up.
She will be leaving the port in few days, as I am worried some government protestors might burn or destroy her like they did to the #Phoenix of the #Revolution in Martyr Square... I have to protect her for now, but I wish to create a much bigger replica that would be long lasting and to be hopefully located at the port, carrying items from people’s homes, and souvenirs from the people we lost at the explosion, with their names and memories, to stay, for future generations to come and see what happened to us on the 4th of August 2020... A memorial, a tribute for all of us who are traumatized here, this is a transformative art that aims at acknowledging the truth and the pain, to preserve the memories, but also to regain strength and rise again from our own ashes, to fight for the truth, for our dreams and future... We will never forget, never forgive.. but we will rise, carrying our own wounds and stories yet spreading positivity and change all over the world wherever we go... Maybe through #Art we can make the #Change we wish to see in this #World - Thanks to everyone of you who encouraged and inspired me, my public art is a blend of myself and everyone around me ❤️ so much Love Photo credit by @eliebekhazi
According to her official website, Hayat said, “My mission is to make positive change in the world through art by inspiring as many people as possible to overhaul the current political system in Lebanon, and to fight for people’s rights and freedoms; for equality and basic human needs. On a personal level, I wish to encourage people to follow their dreams, do good, help others, love themselves, and make peace”.
She added, "I believe my purpose in life is to make a tiny change in the world before I leave”.
Hayat’s rise to fame has coincided with the outbreak of the Lebanese revolution of 2019 and the unprecedented pandemic. Lebanon had already been reeling for months of political turmoil, economic collapse and a worsening coronavirus outbreak and the weight of it has already paralysed the country. The devastating Beirut blast added to the the small nation’s ongoing problems.
While talking about her art, the 33-year-old said that for weeks, she walked the streets of Beirut, collecting twisted metal, broken glass and people’s discarded belongings to use in the sculpture. She said that she travelled to people’s homes after they were destroyed and told them that she just wanted them to give her anything she could included to make them a part of her sculpture. Hayat revealed that people gave her valuable things, including their childhood, their grandparents and the things they wanted to save for their children. “So many emotions went into this,” she said.
According to reports, Hayat’s work include other found object sculptures, as well as graffiti and painting on canvas. Back in 2019, she had created a sculpture called ‘The Phoenix’ which was made from tents broken by counter protesters during the country’s political upheaval. Her work depicts the methodological bird rising from ashes. Further, she also created a giant heart from stones and tear gas canisters left over from riots.
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