BEIRUTº8

Target of our project

Put a spotlight on Beirut's history (monuments, architecture, arts, important historical events)  for Lebanese people, especially the youth, to understand the country's past and therefore create a better future and to introduce non-Lebanese to our mystical amazing city: Beirut..  History also provides us with a collective memory; it gives us a sense of connection to place, time and community. Most young men and women, at the century's end, grew up in a sort of permanent present, lacking any organic relation to the public past of the times they live in. And this elimination of the past is nothing short of a national tragedy. The coming generations are in real danger of becoming detached from the past, of losing their capacity as citizens to call power to account and to understand where they live.

The method we want to use

Wars, political corruption, religious intolerance and many other social and economical problems made it very hard for Lebanese youth to trust any given information by any authority. The only way to diffuse a true peaceful message in Lebanon is by the means of art. The only place where we forget our differences and problems is in a theatre or at a concert..

So how can we infiltrate messages about history in an intelligent emotional way, for young people, without imposing them or presenting them in a boring traditional way?

The answer is: a short animated musical movie, created by underground local and very talented musicians, illustrators and artists.
Along with a documentary about the whole procedure. We believe that the documentary and the short animation are very complimentary, and together they form the perfect package that would put the spotlight on every side of our marvellous country's neglected history and culture.

The idea:

Beirut was completely destroyed 7 times during recorded history.
Old houses are being torn down instead of being restored.
Instead of being preserved, valuable ruins are being destroyed and replaced by new building, slowly erasing our identity.
Nobody remembers any of the country’s martyrs who died in order for us to live peacefully.
The dome of Beirut, which is a very important symbol of the city with a very rich history, is being threatened by destruction.
We forgot all the old artists, poets, and musicians who played a major role in creating Lebanon's history.

The story is about Beirut and its culture that are growing tired of people threatening, destroying or ignoring them.
And after being buried seven times in the past because of natural causes, this time Beirut, who considers that ignoring her history is also burying her, decides to rise from the underground, do a parade, and take all the arts and history out of the city into the sea leaving the city lifeless.
This will create awareness on the importance of preserving all the important aspects of our country and respecting it, instead of insulting our country without trying to fix things.

The song should be sang by several Lebanese artists with different styles and voices to incorporate each part of the animation, and to also drag their fan base to be interested in our countries culture and history throughout their modern voices and styles. Music should be a fusion between old traditional music and modern electric sounds (references are available) 

The Team working:

Illustrator: Jorj Abou Mhayya

Jorj is one of the best illustrators in the middle east. He will do all the illustrations and will supervise, guide and work with all the animators.
"'A Town Near The Earth" his first independent comic book was the winner of the best comic book in arabic at the International Comic Book Festival.The highly esteemed jury of experts and professionals confirmed that his comic book is a demarcation point in the history of comics, not just in the Arab world, but world wide as well. Jorj was also invited to Angoulême to work on his new comic book. Two of his original drawings are now exhibited in the official Angoulême permanent exhibition.

Link to a blog featuring his work: http://brofessionalreview.com/tag/jorj-abou-mhaya/
(Can send you some of his drawings if necessary)

 

Writers: Michelle and Noel Keserwany 

Michelle and Noel are sisters.
They also are local underground songwriters and singers, they write and sing their own satirical songs about the Lebanese society. After finishing their masters in advertising, the two sisters decided to work on social matters  by the means of art, illustrations and music.
''Michelle and Noel Keserwany are two highly intelligent young musicians, and sisters (if I believe what they tell me), who became overnight Youtube sensations in Lebanon. Before they had ever played their first serious gig, they had over 300 000 views on their Youtube page and were being invited on major Lebanese television stations. Basically they were stars in the making. This led us to wonder what the hell their PR strategy was and how we could follow in their footsteps.'' 'Too Famous' Blog.

Social intervention/music video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X6MVWwtGvSM
Interview with ''NOW'': https://now.mmedia.me/lb/en/reportsfeatures/panique-bel-parlement
interview L'Orient Le Jour (in French) http://www.lorientlejour.com/article/886029/michelle-et-noel-keserwany-dites-le-en-musique-.html

 

Musician and composer: Karim Khneisser

Karim Khneisser is one of the most talented music composers in Lebanon. He also works as a sound designer for visual media.
He started studying filmmaking in Beirut then moved to France where he specialized in sound engineering at SAE (School of Audio Engineering).
He's also known to be a multi-instrumentalist.

Studio jam: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZHEYRs4HppE
Performing with Joss Stone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mjuVmHTsF0Q
Soundtracks for the series ''The little drop'' https://soundcloud.com/karimkhneisser/sets/the-little-drop
Article/ videos about Karim from LBC: http://www.lbcgroup.tv/news/194688/video-on-lebanons-indie-scene-karim-khneisser-a-ma
Article: http://www.barakabits.com/2014/12/5-underground-middle-eastern-music-projects-you-have-to-listen-too

The rest of the team are an architect, a graphic designer, a researcher, a documentary specialist, a director of photography, animators, musicians and singers.

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