(Interview) Yazan Halwani: Uniting The City.

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action_shot_yazan_halwani/Photos: Yazan Halwani (private album)/

Although he’s only in his twenties, Yazan Halwani is a name you will hear a lot in Beirut. For the last couple of years his work is among the most notable ones when it comes to Arab street art. Halwani has adorned walls of Beirut (and cities all over the world) with portraits of the writer Khalil Gibran and legendary singers Fairuz and Sabah, as well as everyday local heroes like Ali Abdullah, a homeless man who died one winter’s night in 2013 and Fares, a 12-year-old flower seller from Hamra street.

I meet Halwani in a quiet cafe in Gemmayzeh, a vibrant area of cafes and small shops in downtown Beirut. He’s relaxed and easygoing, with a big smile on his face, and remains of paint on his fingers. We move from topic to topic, he speeks with ease and eloquence. We talk about…

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Dead Cities, Syria.

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Maciej Moskwa is a Polish photographer, a member of TESTIGO documentary collective. He spent a lot of time working in Syria, and I was first introduced to his work through his photo essay Dead Cities.

Artist statement:

” ‘Dead Cities’ are the remains of Roman and Byzantine settlements in the north-western Syria. In 2012, during the civil war in Syria, more than one million people had to abandon their homes and sought safe shelter. They came to the places where the Ancients buried their dead. In places such as Shansharah, Robia, Serjilla the living cohabitate with the dead in ruins and tombs, often underground. They are exposed to the elements, cold, wet hungry and vulnerable to disease. Many, fleeing from their homes, could not take much with them, the heaviest luggage they carry is their memories filled with the images, sounds and smells of an ongoing war. Although they…

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