Conception of the Artwork
“Jahannam” (2020) translates to hell. This ink & watercolour on paper painting was created in response to Lebanese President Michel Aoun’s comment that Lebanon is “going to hell soon” in September 2020.
The glaring issue is that he and his oligarch colleagues have already brought hell to the country with people murdered by the bomb, violence against protestors, and the newfound poverty. This has been going on for over 30 years.
The painting depicts the brutality inflicted by the government against the October protests and the bomb as interconnected. It uses negative space to portray the severity of the situation, the inter-personal lived experience as both a mental explosion and the explosion upon my people in Beirut. Hell and history have happened and are still in the making.