Thursday, December 5, 2013

| Letters and Letters |

Tilt came to Beirut with an extreme interest in Lebanon’s recent history. Like any foreigner, the first thing that spoke to him was the ambient atmosphere that rules the mind of the older generations. I
Interested in literature and specialized in lettering, he was looking for a poem, a text, even a quote from a Lebanese writer that could best express the way we feel about our country. For this, he came to me and many Lebanese to ask about famous Lebanese writers and it couldn't fit better when we showed him what Amin Maalouf’s wrote in his latest book “Les désorientés”.

The style, the words chosen, the emotions shared, sparkled almost instantly in the artist’s mind, this book is about our civil war, and the text chosen is about memories concerning unanswered letters of the writer, Tilt found the text he was looking for and decided to dedicate his art to Amin Malouf.

Tilt wrote the text to show a plea that is still bleeding, crippled, cracked and old - all part of the artist’s intention, a plea that could never heal after so many years, the choice of its color is non-other then Tilt’s famous “bubble pink”, once again, the area is well targeted, Ain el Remeneh, a public school, to remind us that war pleas really never ends, and to honor the martyrs and the wounded, so we can never forget, forgive surely, but never forget what the war has done to us.

All the lost lives, commemorated here in Tilt’s piece of work, for me, are a plea that always resurfaces in our mind, I believe it is mostly good to remember this pain, it might hurt, but it surely makes me more compassionate and more humble with an uncertain pacifism that I constantly share toward the others…

Text by Amin Maalouf:

"J'ai précieusement conservé ces lettres, mais je n'ai pas le souvenir d'y avoir répondu.

S'il était compliqué, à l'époque, de recevoir le courrier du pays, il était bien plus hasardeux encore de l'y faire parvenir. La poste ayant cessé de fonctionner, il fallait recourir aux services d'un voyageur, afin qu'il le transmette de la main à la main. Une mission qui pouvait se révéler périlleuse. Le porteur devait parfois se rendre dans une zone de combats ; et s'il ne voulait pas courir de risques, et qu'il demandait au destinataire de venir chercher son enveloppe lui-même, c'est ce dernier qui se trouvait en danger de mort. (…) Mourad prétendait que, dans l'une de nos conversations, je lui aurais dit, pour répondre à ses reproches : « Moi je ne suis allé nulle part, c'est le pays qui est parti. » Peut-être bien que je l'ai dit. À l'époque, je le disais parfois…"

Letter by Letter

Details of the wall:

Thursday, November 21, 2013

| Zepha's work in details |

Zepha's fun spirit and love of life can be seen in these exclusive photos from the artist and the photography team of Graff Me Lebanon

You can check the first story about Zepha's piece here: War

You can see different flops/tags of Zepha's in very secret places, I believe we should go on a hunt, I don't even know where these photos were taken from, but I remember that at a certain time, we were all looking for him, and we couldn't find him, that's what he was doing!

How it started

How it ended

The final perfect touch

His unique signature in detail

This has to be in a forgotten place

It seems Lawyers didn't mind his artwork

The flag is waving for our unity

Calligraphy and children of beirut @Chabibeh sporting club they supported all the artists by transforming their school into a graffiti museum in Ain el Remeneh

Special thanks to Marianne Bel, without whom, this project would've never happened, she was our mother in this project, holding all of our hands, artists and organizers, thank you Marianne for everything!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

| Rise |

| Rise |

Ze have been questioning our identity all throughout history. Never have we ever found an accurate, common identity, one with to have a real sense of patriotism. We are instead always arguing, always asking ourselves, who are we really ?

But we do agree... what we can all agree on is that we are fighters for life and we love it!
As harsh as it can be, we always stand back up, whatever the conditions: war, assassinations, explosions, terrorism, even natural disaster (it's true what they say, Beirut has risen 7 times throughout history), we have always had the courage to stand back up and rise again from whatever pithole we fell into.

                              We have the will but probably not the common sense.

Zeus, an italian artist from Naples, known for his Wild Style techniques, was inspired by our will to stand up all throughout history, and to express this, he had to think and read about our lost history, about what could symbolize Lebanese in the best way possible - so he found out that we are Arabs, and that we also are Phoenicians, then, as an Italian (a Roman that ruled us we can say with a laugh), he asked me, what about the phoenix ? 

I welcomed the idea gratefully.

I asked him to send me a sketch... now, when I saw the sketch, I told him clearly that it would be impossible to reproduce this on a big wall, he simply replied by a: "don't worry and trust me."

They also say it's hard to trust an Italian here in Lebanon (since we always blame them... quoting the famous saying: "it's all because of the Italians" just to avoid blaming ourselves).

Ok, so, here we are now, months away from the sketch he showed me, and, the result is extremely shocking and heavy.

Now, the thing is that everytime I pass by this wall, I feel alive and reborn again, I was wondering if anyone had the same feeling, next to intense traffic, I'm quite sure it must optimize your day and give you back energy, an energy any Lebanese would completely assimilate and understand once he sees this eternal flying burning bird.

Ladies and gents, as part of Graff' me Lebanon, Zeus presents the Phoenix:

The Phoenix by Zeus under the Cola/Salim Slem Bridge

Special connection from Beirut to Naples

The phoenix is the mythological bird that always rises from its ashes

Have a read: Phoenix Wikipedia

P.S.: Only the black color in the background is black acrylic paint, the rest is... spray paint

And below are the photos of Zeus artwork in the graff me Lebanon exhibition

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

| Destruction |

| Destruction |

For Erwan,

We never thought of destructing the destruction... but we did eventually. We destructed the destruction but not to forget the ugliness of this war, just to do it again if we have to...

And to sell ourselves as good leaders, not war criminals...

I was 8 when my parents decided to come back to Lebanon, living abroad like many of my fellow citizens.

The moment I came back here, the first scenes I saw were buildings bombed with missiles, full of bullet holes, destroyed, ugly and again... very real, it was so impressive, that I had a very intense feeling, as if I was listening to miles "kind of blue" album, smooth, deep and extremely painful at the same time, it was "kind of beautiful"... sadly.

This blog post shares a feeling, what this artist feels in his work, is what we, lebanese, have always felt in time of wars, the only result of any war, is, destruction.

Sadly, we do not have history books that give us a clear idea about our civil war, so we targeted a public school, in Ain el Remeneh, the exact place of the beginning of the civil war with a bus massacre and where history should be taught. It is in this context that we showed them a glimpse of what war has done to us, these kids need to know, and the artist Katre happily helped us.

Katre is a french artist from Paris, he came to Beirut during the graff me lebanon project (Graff Me Lebanon )

His work, coincides a lot with the destructive spirit of Beirut back then during war and post-war times, so he offered us this beautiful piece in Chafic Seid public school, so that we never forget our past, so that we never forget that destruction flows from hate;


with "Lively city"

See the magic below

Photos courtesy of Katre

Special thanks to the Chabibeh sporting club who provided the artist with the location and all the help needed, they manage this school and try to make it a better place for these kids.

Thank you Katre for this amazing work in Ain el Remeneh

A final Shot showing the whole area:

| War |


It is a war I tell you...

A war of walls.

This unfinished battle we started years and years ago (since prehistory), we have been marking our walls, whether in caves or on public spaces today, this war is endless, we, have yet to understand, art and graffiti jumps to one conclusion: Let us disturb some people...

Maybe you are not aware of it, maybe you think its useless, maybe you think its childish, but these colors changes everyone's daily life, and trust me, for the better, so lets assume and start spreading, instead of playing a war of power, let us play a war of walls, its better, less risky for our lives and it calls for survival (Marking your name on the wall might be a way to leave a trace or just to color your city)

I start this blog today because of unfinished business, a business I have promised to complete to the walls of my city, 

It was on a rainy night, here in beirut, I was looking at them, these tags, graffiti, paintings, pieces from unknown writers, and I said to myself: "this is real, it speaks of a truth" so I promised them, literally, the unknown artists that passed through our city: "you will be remembered"

And then I forgot, but today a bomb exploded in the suburb of my city, around 25 people died and 100+ got injured for no reason, so immediately, some of my city's walls spoke to me and told me: "spread the word, tell them, tell them what we are doing here! they are hurting us! they need to know!" 

So basically, in my mind, that was it, it's time, so, i decided to share what I see

And I start today with a piece from an artist known as Zepha, he is from Toulouse in France, and is part of a project called Graff Me Lebanon that occurred last week (

"Unity" by french artist Zepha, looking out for his precious wall in Mar Mitr, Achrafieh, Beyrouth.

His graffiti says "Unité/وحدة" it means Unity, no need for more explanation

We can see the Lebanese flag slightly waving because he is tired and the artist himself lookin out for his piece of art, affraid to leave it alone, making sure there are no bombs or extremist around....

I will post more photos of this project in the few days to come, maybe, just maybe, it will help us survive our daily tragedies, make us smile a little bit more,