Saturday, June 30, 2012

CONCERT | Evanescence Live in Beirut, Lebanon | 2012

“Do what you what you want, if you have a dream for better” was how Amy lee brought the stage to life. We all jumped to our feet, times because the adrenaline was too much to contain, and other times because the adrenaline was too much to contain for the people a row in front of us.

Amy Lee Rocking Beirut | Photography by Mix FM Lebanon

The audience was terrific, soulful, like finally reuniting with a lover after years of separation. And those vibes were not lost on Amy Lee who tweeted our passion to her followers.

And like a lover's quarrel, we would chant “A-MY-LEE”
and she would chant back “LE-BA-NON”

The Patient Wait | Photography by Mix FM Lebanon
Tweeting the Love | @AmyLeeEV

She sang from her latest album titled after the name of the band, Evanescence:
What You Want | My Heart is Broken | The Other Side | Swimming Home | Sick | Lost in Paradise | The Change

The Latest Album | available in iTunes
During the Performance | Photography by 247square

And some from her older albums:
Made of Stone | Call me When You're Sober | Imaginary | Weight of the World | Whisper

And of course her all-time classics that the whole are up-roared in singing along:
Going Under | My Immortal | Bring me to Life | Lithium

My Immortal Live | Video taken by NaderChalhoub1994

Bring Me to Life Live | Video taken by Wael Hazimeh

The whole mood was of magic potions and stardust, her voice a chant too sweet, a melody of unspoken truths.

Technician for Sound Check | Photography by Mix FM

The concert was held at Waterfront Beirut, the outdoor stage adding momentum to a night fueled with longing.

During Performance | Photography by Mix FM

And just as it started, it all ended, quenching one thirst and making another, an unrelenting drug.

“I never thought we'd make it half-way around the world and find friends, thank you”

Dearest Amy Lee, come back soon.
Save us the long-distance withdrawal.

247square, Beirut

Thursday, June 21, 2012

POSTCARDS | Happy Father's Day by Rafic Saab | 2012

I am usually against specifying a day to honor a person or a concept, unless it doesn't imply neglect and carelessness during the rest of the year.

Rafic Saab, an illustrator and animator, graduated from AUB with a BFA in Graphic Design in 2009. His humorous character is manifested in many of his work. His t-shirt / postcard series is a main example. He chooses a proverb, a saying, or a common Arabic phrase and reflects or subverts it in an illustration. His first set was exhibited with FLUKS in the form of posters at Obros Café, Clemenceau, Beirut, and later exhibited and sold at Café Younes, Hamra.

After the positive feedback from everyone, he carried on with the project. Last Mother's Day, he did two postcards that I was against at first "It's Mother's Day. Why won't you show more love?" I told him. But his mom loved them. This was his way of expressing himself. It is his character. Why be someone else for the sake of the day?

As for today, the 21st of June, he illustrated two other postcards for Father's Day. The first says "بابا كتير كول" which translates to "My dad is so cool."

The second reads "بابا غنوج" which has a play on words. In Arabic, "بابا غنوج" is the name of a famous Lebanese appetizer "Baba Ghannouch" (متبل باذنجان) but is also translated literally to "My Dad has a coquettish behaviour."

You can find these postcards at Café Younes (Hamra Branch), 3ind Riad (next to Blue Building, Hamra), and I Gift (Bliss street).

Happy Father's Day!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

EXHIBITION | Lara Atallah “If Walls Could Talk”

Lara Atallah's Exhibition | Photography by Alaa Kabalan


This post is a bittersweet review, one that blends all emotions and leaves you flabbergasted, one of triumph after struggle. 
Today, Wednesday the 20th of June 2012, concludes the last day of the exhibition "If Walls Could Talk" in "Al-Ayyam" Gallery by the fabulous person and great friend Lara Atallah. It is both an honor and a privilege to start our very first post with her.

Lara Atallah looking gorgeoussss. I mean. Professionally adequate? | Photography by Adnan Mortada

 the work

Lara's photography has always been exceptional, visually striking and socially significant. In this exhibition, her work did not falter.

The exhibition | Photography by Alaa Kabalan

The poignant emptiness in the settings she chose, the vibrantly telling colors all contribute to sharing the stories with us - she puts the forgotten walls on a pedestal and gives them a microphone so we hear their weeping. They deliver, and the stories of abandoned schools speak volumes of class differentials and gentrification. They tell the stories of families removed and replaced.

One photograph of the exhibition | Photography by Alaa Kabalan

the exhibition

We came in early to see Lara Atallah jumping from one interview to the other, explaining the journey that got her here and the stories told in the exhibition. 

Lara conducting an interview | Photography by Alaa Kabalan

Soon after us ran in Professor Marc Nader with an earnest unmoved smile, proudly looking at his photography students' outstanding achievement. However unfortunately, the opening of the exhibition coincided with civic unrest, where protesting people were burning tires and cutting roads. We were distraught in whether to stay and share this tremendous moment with our friend, or to leave for our homes before all hell breaks loose. We ended up compromising between the two options and staying for a while before we headed out. 

People gathering in at the start of the exhibition | Photography by Alaa Kabalan

But in retrospect, I'm not sure whether the protests were bad for the exhibition. This is because the nature of the protests taking place were of the same language of political differentials to which Lara had dedicated this exhibition to. So this was a directly mirrored reality of the statements she made through her photography, manifested in a different way. 

about Lara

Lara Atallah is a name that made its way into our innermost circles, put one next to the other and conjoined the tangents to make her way into our hearts.

circles, tangents, and hearts, for the mathematically challenged | Incredible Artwork by Zeina Shaaban

She went to the American University of Beirut and pursued a BFA in Graphic Design, graduating in 2011. She has since taken on various jobs in design, transcription, and photography. This eventually led her to win 2nd place at the 2011 Shabab Ayyam Photography Competition in Dubai, what gave her the opportunity to exhibit "If Walls Could Talk" and consequently earned her a scholarship for her post-graduate studies in Photography at Parsons The New School of Design, New York.

Lara Atallah at the AUB graduation | Photography by Antoine Atallah

I distinctly remember our numerous conversations, how she told me that her drive to study Graphic Design has always been photography, and that despite all the obstacles (and those were many), she was going to make it. 

And that, she has.

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