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In the wake of the catastrophic explosion in the port of Beirut on August 4, 2020, an unprecedented phenomenon became apparent: the cultural scene immediately mobilized without going through a „post-disaster mnesic stage“ as is usually observed after a disaster. So what happened? Why the urgency? How did artists use their creativity to express the unspeakable, think it through, bear witness to it, raise awareness and begin the process of healing traumatic wounds?

In this lecture, Michel Abou Khalil explores a singular post-disaster creation in the visual arts: the exhibition L’Art Blessé in Beirut a few months after the explosion, which featured a series of disaster-stricken works from private Beirut collections. The damage suffered gave rise to a mise en abyme in which the traces metamorphosed into works within works, inspired by the Japanese kintsugi technique.

After earning a Master’s degree in Dramatic Art at the Lebanese University, Michel Abou Khalil obtained his doctorate in French literature at the Arab University of Beirut, then worked as a cultural attaché at the Swiss Embassy in Lebanon. Today, he heads the SWISS MADE CULTURE association, which celebrates Swiss culture in dialogue with the world.

Free event, conference in French, limited seats, booking required: info@fondationopale.ch or 027 483 46 10

Picture : Jean Margelisch