Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Wajdi Mouawad

Baalbeck is back on Olympus

C’est envers et contre tout qu’a été donné hier soir, au cœur même de son site emblématique, le coup d’envoi du Festival international de Baalbeck.

Au cœur même des vestiges de cette éternelle Héliopolis, symbole de civilisations et de cultures millénaires, que célèbre justement le spectacle d’ouverture Ilik Ya Baalbeck (Pour toi Baalbeck).

Une fresque poétique et musicale qui a réussi la gageure de réunir sur son affiche, mais aussi au pays du Cèdre, le temps d’une soirée, un exceptionnel vivier de talents libanais dispersés aux quatre coins du monde.

« La poésie et la musique sont les plus belles parures des hommes », dit-on.

De certains lieux aussi, dont elles revivifient la splendeur de leurs gemmes étincelants.

Pour rappeler – et il le faut en ces temps de barbarie et de pourriture – l’ancienneté de nos civilisations méditerranéennes et les vertus fédératrices de la résistance culturelle, les plus grands artistes et créateurs libanais ont allié leurs talents (sous l’impulsion du comité du Festival international de Baalbeck et la houlette du metteur en scène Nabil el-Azan) pour offrir à Baalbeck une œuvre ciselée sur mesure et parfaitement enchâssée dans un incomparable écrin : Ilik Ya Baalbeck.

Après la version intimiste et épurée, présentée en prélude le 7 juillet dans le cadre du festival d’Aix-en-Provence, c’est la version orchestrale et son feu d’artifice de musique, de chants, de projection d’images qui a rendu hommage hier à cette magnifique acropole romaine et à son prestigieux festival, le plus ancien du Moyen-Orient et qui fêtera bientôt ses 60 ans.
Le casting est impressionnant : Wajdi Mouawad, Etel Adnan, Salah Stétié, Adonis, Talal Haydar, Issa Makhlouf (auteurs), sans compter l’emprunt du poème Baalbeck de Nadia Tuéni et de strophes du Prophète de Gebran Khalil Gebran ; Abdel Rahman el-Bacha, Gabriel Yared, Béchara el-Khoury, Naji Hakim, Zad Moultaka, Ghadi Rahbani (compositions musicales), ainsi qu’Ibrahim Maalouf et Marcel Khalifé, qui, eux, se sont produits en guest stars.

Sans oublier l’interprétation virtuose du jeune pianiste Simon Ghreichy.

À 21h pile, une heure (de retard) après l’horaire annoncé (Typical in Lebanon?), juste après l’hymne national joué par l’Orchestre philharmonique du Liban sous la direction de Harout Fazlian, les lumières s’éteignent pour laisser toute la place à la voix de Rafic Ali Ahmad qui lance les premiers mots de cette célébration du retour vers Baalbeck.

C’est ensuite sur une composition dramatique du compositeur et organiste Naji Hakim qu’ont déferlé, projetées sur la façade du temple de Bacchus (avec un éclairage malheureusement extrêmement mal adapté), les très belles images des grandes heures du Festival de Baalbeck signées du vidéaste Ali Cherri.

Ali Ahmad magnétique
C’est une Fadia Tomb el-Hage à l’allure de grande prêtresse en longue robe rouge (conçue par Rabih Kayrouz) qui apparaît, ensuite, au haut des marches du temple de Bacchus, où était installée la scène, pour interpréter une mélodie très rahbanienne concoctée justement par Ghadi Rahbani.

Se succéderont ainsi tout au long de la soirée son chant modulé (ainsi que sa déclamation plutôt décevante d’un texte en français), les récitations magnétiques du très charismatique comédien Rafic Ali Ahmad et les divers morceaux composés par les différents compositeurs.

On retiendra, entre autres : l’harmonieux et vibrant tableau de danse (avec un impressionnant Nacim Battou) et de chant sur l’air superbement enlevé illustrant « le mariage » de Gibran composé par Gabriel Yared.

Le solo de trompette, puissamment incantatoire, du très grand Ibrahim Maalouf que tentera, en vain, de troubler un pathétique faux ambulancier toutes sirènes hurlantes ; l’énergique séquence de dabké et hip hop (la troupe al-Majd et Nacim Battou) ; l’incandescente sensibilité des mots d’Etel Adnan portés avec justesse par Caroline Hatem ; la truculence baalbeckiote de Talal Haïdar montant sur scène, enveloppé dans sa abaya, pour déclamer ses propres vers.

Il est difficile d’énumérer chaque performance constituant ce spectacle de quelque cent participants. Sauf que si l’idée de patchwork géant d’œuvres des meilleurs artistes libanais mises bout à bout est géniale, elle aurait gagné à être plus travaillée au niveau de la mise en scène et de la lumière surtout, qui constitue l’un des éléments essentiels de ce genre de spectacles. Particulièrement dans ce site grandiose.

Caroline Hatem shared this link

J’ai eu la chance de dire un superbe texte d’Etel Adnan dans le temple –
et de passer 3 nuits parmi ces colonnes, et sous la lune.
Merci

Hier soir, Baalbeck était sur l’Olympe Festival Sur le papier, l’idée est magistrale :
réunir les plus grands artistes libanais en hommage à Baalbeck, à son festival, à sa résilience culturelle, comme un archétype d’un Liban métissé, pluriel et rayonnant….
lorientlejour.com|By Zéna ZALZAL

“Escaping Beirut”, the Elizabeth Taylor of cities, and An Unnecessary Woman

In a passage of the Lebanese writer Rabih Alameddine’s first novel Koolaids (1998), one character says:

I fucking hate the Lebanese. I hate them. They are so fucked up. They think they are so great, and for what reason?

Has there been a single artist of note? A scientist, an athlete? They are so proud of [Lebanese novelist Khalil] Gibran. Probably the most overrated writer in history. I don’t think any Lebanese has ever read him. If they had, they would keep their mouth fucking shut.…

The happiest day in my life was when I got my American citizenship and was able to tear up my Lebanese passport. That was great. Then I got to hate Americans.…

I tried so hard to rid myself of anything Lebanese. I hate everything Lebanese. But I never could. It seeps through my entire being. The harder I tried, the more it showed up in the unlikeliest of places. But I never gave up.

Robyn Creswell published in the NY Review of Books on March 25, 2014
Ferdinando Scianna/Magnum Photos
Beirut, 1972

Many of the funniest moments in Alameddine’s work—and he is essentially a comic writer—revolve around the difficulties of trying to escape the past.

The heroes of his fiction are all misfits of one sort or another. They rebel against what they take to be the tyrannical conventions of Lebanese society—its patriarchy, its sexual norms, its sectarianism.

In most of Alameddine’s novels this revolt takes the form of flight to America, what one character calls an escape “from the land of conformism to the land of individualism.” (Alameddine is from a prominent Lebanese Druze family and has lived much of his life in San Francisco.)

Looming behind these singular stories is the larger history of dislocation caused by the civil war, when many Lebanese—the ones who could—left. In America, Alameddine’s characters discover that the pleasures of individualism often turn out to be empty, and their host country’s foreign policy, particularly its support for Israel, is a constant irritant. So their emigration is only ever partial; the old world haunts all their attempts at reinvention.

In Alameddine’s new novel,  An Unnecessary Woman, the narrator, Aaliya Saleh, is a septuagenarian literary translator who has stayed in Beirut—“the Elizabeth Taylor of cities,” as she calls it, “insane, beautiful, tacky, falling apart.”

But Aaliya does not feel at home in her native city. For most of the novel, she walks through her neighborhood in West Beirut, remembering how it used to be, before “the virulent cancer we call concrete spread throughout the capital, devouring every living surface.” She recalls past lovers and favorite books, as well as the bitterness of her family life.

In Aaliya’s case, estrangement from her relatives and from the city she lives in has led to an internal emigration. “I slipped into art to escape life,” she tells us. “I sneaked off into literature.”

When not wandering Beirut’s streets, she remains in her apartment, communing with tutelary spirits—every New Year, she lights two candles for Walter Benjamin. In her old age she has become more and more devoted to her art and the pleasures of her own mind, a latter-day version of modernist mandarins from Valéry’s Monsieur Teste to Canetti’s Professor Kien. Aaliya’s name, as she likes to remind us, means “above,” or “the one on high.”

Aaliya is a childless divorcee in a country where social life revolves around the family. But the deeper source of alienation is her “blind lust for the written word.” Her day job is at an independent bookstore with no clientele.

And as a translator, Aaliya is not just a reader, but a reader in extremis. Her tastes run to what we now call “world literature”: W.G. Sebald, José Saramago, Javier Marías, and Danilo Kiš (she works from the French or English versions). This is a lonely passion. “Literature in the Arab world, in and of itself, isn’t sought after,” she informs us. “Literature in translation? Translation of a translation? Why bother.” Aaliya has translated 37 books into Arabic; none have been published. She’s never bothered to try.

Aaliya is not a very convincing translator. With no hope of publishing her work, she claims to be driven only by her esteem for the great writers and the joy she takes in the activity itself. This is already a little sentimental, but her description of her work is simply implausible:

My translating is a Wagner opera. The narrative sets up, the tension builds, the music ebbs and flows, the strings, the horns, more tension, and suddenly a moment of pure pleasure. Gabriel blows his golden trumpet, ambrosial fragrance fills the air sublime, and gods descend from Olympus to dance—most heavenly this peak of ecstasy.

Whatever she’s doing, it isn’t translating. Not because the job is joyless, but because its satisfactions come from the experience of obstacles faced and overcome, or skillfully finessed.

In Aaliya’s account, it is one moment of bliss after another. This is typical of her relation to literature in general. An Unnecessary Woman is a kind of commonplace book, stuffed with citations from Aaliya’s favorite novels and poems. Everything that happens to her provokes a literary reminiscence: an unwelcome neighbor makes her think of Sartre (“Hell is other people”), which makes her think of Vallejo (“the torment of Hell is noise”); feeling lonely makes her think of Camus (“the weight of days is dreadful”); Beiruti garbage collectors are so many Sisyphuses.

We get it: this lady has read a lot of books. But in fact Aaliya is less a devotee of literature than a gourmand. She “salivates” over the “beautiful sentences” of Claudio Magris; Marguerite Yourcenar’s versions of Cavafy are “like champagne.” (Constance Garnett’s translations of Dostoyevsky, on the other hand, are “milky tea.”)

Reading a good book for the first time is “as sumptuous as the first sip of orange juice that breaks the fast in Ramadan.” And it isn’t just literature: “When I first heard Wagner, Messiaen, or Ligeti, the noise was unbearable, but like a child with her first sip of wine, I recognized something that I could love with practice.”

Most of the time, however, Aaliya’s devotion to literature is taken seriously. Her passion for translation is the prime source of the novel’s claim on its readers’ sympathies. The loneliness of this passion—and therefore the strength of our sympathies—is heightened by the idea, which Alameddine insists on, that Aaliya is pursuing her vocation in a cultural desert.

“I understood from the beginning that what I do isn’t publishable. There’s never been a market for it, and I doubt there ever will be.” In the same spirit, when Aaliya steals some titles from the bookstore where she works, she is doing a public service:

Had I not ordered some of these books, they would never have landed on Lebanese soil. For crying out loud, do you think anyone else in Lebanon has a copy of Djuna Barnes’s Nightwood? And I am picking just one book off the top of my head. Lampedusa’s The Leopard? I don’t think anyone else in this country has a book by Novalis.

In passages like this, Aaliya becomes a more problematic narrator than Alameddine seems to intend. She is soliciting our sympathies—the sympathies of non-Lebanese readers, who are clearly the novel’s intended audience—by flattering our prejudices. For in reality, Beirut is no literary desert.

Beirut is the publishing hub of the Middle East and has been for a long time. Bookishness is central to Lebanon’s self-conception, as the response to the recent burning of a bookstore in Tripoli attests. Nor is it hostile to literary translation. To the contrary. In the late Fifties and Sixties, when Aaliya would have been in her mid-twenties, Beirut was home to the best literary magazines in Arabic, which were full of translated fiction and verse.

Perhaps the most influential of these journals was Shi‘r ((She3er, Poetry), a modernist quarterly modeled on Harriet Monroe’s little magazine of the same name. Between 1957 and 1964, Shi‘r published translations of Walt Whitman, T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, Paul Valéry, Saint-John Perse, Antonin Artaud, Henri Michaux, Yves Bonnefoy, Federico García Lorca, Octavio Paz, Salvatore Quasimodo, Rainer Maria Rilke, and many others. The magazine’s chief critic was Khalida Said, wife of the Syrio-Lebanese poet Adonis.

Other journals during the same period translated leftist intellectuals such as Sartre, Nâzım Hikmet, Paul Éluard, Pablo Neruda, and Louis Aragon. Somebody may even have had a copy of Lampedusa.

Is it conceivable Aaliya would have no knowledge of this history? She tells us she started translating at the age of twenty-two, in 1959, just as the Beiruti rage for translation was in full swing. Most literary magazines were published in Hamra, Aaliya’s own West Beirut neighborhood.

And they were published by her kind of people—cosmopolitan misfits, some of whom, like the poets and critics of Shi‘r, argued for a version of artistic autonomy that mirrors Aaliya’s own. Maybe it is conceivable she would know nothing of all this; maybe Aaliya is simply a recluse whose greatest pleasure happens to come from translating literary fiction. Maybe, but then her rhetorical question about Nightwood sounds less like a cry of anguish than ignorant snobbery. And the thirty-seven moldering manuscripts, whose fate turns out to be central to the plot, seem less like a rare and precious archive than a monumental quirk.

Alameddine’s own relation to the Lebanese literary history is similarly fraught. He belongs, and yet he does not want to. Alameddine’s recurring focus on the experience of emigration, the opportunities of self-creation offered by leaving home, his interest in questions of language and identity, and his mixing of Arab and European forms—all this places him squarely within the Levantine tradition of mahjar literature (mahjar is Arabic for “the place of emigration”).

This is a tradition that begins in the late 19th century and includes contemporary writers such as the novelist Rawi Hage and the playwright Wajdi Mouawad. The best-known and by far the best-selling member of this group is Gibran, though in the United States he tends to be viewed as a New Age parabolist of indeterminate origin rather than as a specifically Arab writer.

Alameddine, of course, wants nothing to do with this inheritance—for him, Gibran is “the most overrated writer in history”—and his way of telling stories stages its own kind of revolt.

Each of Alameddine’s first three novels upsets realist conventions in its own way.

Koolaids flits back and forth between wartime Beirut and San Francisco during the AIDS epidemic in the early 1980s; it is a montage of voices and stories, a form Alameddine credits to Jean Said Makdisi’s memoir, Beirut Fragments (1990), though Elias Khoury’s pioneering novel of the civil war, The Little Mountain (1977), is probably the ultimate source for this technique.

Alameddine’s second novel, I, the Devine (2001), is narrated by a Beiruti Druze woman who struggles to maintain stable relationships after emigrating to the US; it is told in the form of first chapters—the narrator keeps trying and failing and trying again to write her memoir.

In The Hakawati, (2008), Alameddine borrows from the fabulist Arabic oral tradition to construct an interlocking series of tales framed by the story of a Lebanese man who returns from Los Angeles to keep vigil at his father’s deathbed.

One motive for this style of storytelling may be the fractured state of Lebanon, whose social landscape often seems to lack any common ground. “What if I told you that life has no unity?” says a character in Koolaids. “It is a series of nonlinear vignettes leading nowhere.” But it is also a way to resist, without entirely foregoing, the realist commonplaces of class, religion, and locality. Alameddine doesn’t want his characters to be defined by their sectarian identities any more than they do. It is this tussle between the claims of home and the attractions of flight that run through his fiction.

This is nicely suggested in a vignette from Koolaids. One of the book’s protagonists is a Lebanese abstract painter living in San Francisco (Alameddine was a successful painter before he turned to writing). A countryman is shown one of the canvases, which consists of irregular yellow rectangles, and becomes puzzled when a salesmen calls it abstract art. “But they are the sides of our houses,” the Lebanese man says. “That’s how the stones look back home. Exactly that yellow color.” The painter wants to escape into the purity of form but his content remains stubbornly local. Likewise, in I, the Divine the expatriate narrator speaks for many characters when she complains to a friend,

Here I am, the black sheep of the family, yet I’m still part of it. I tried separating from the family all my life, only to find out it’s not possible, not in my family. So I become the black sheep without any of the advantages of being one.

You can never go home, but you can’t entirely leave it, either.

An Unnecessary Woman marks a departure from the style and themes of this earlier work.

The story is told from a single point of view and, aside from a few flashbacks, it proceeds in straightforward fashion. And yet Aaliya is no more at ease in in Beirut than the characters who actually leave. This may reflect a common feeling among Beirutis that the city rebuilt after the civil war is a bewilderingly different place from the pre-war version. But it also comes from Aaliya’s sense that Lebanon is a deeply parochial country, which she can only escape by reading Sebald and Saramago. “Literature is my sandbox,” Aaliya explains early in the novel. “In it I play, build my forts and castles, spend glorious time. It is the world outside that box that gives me trouble.”

The most convincing passages in Alameddine’s novels, however, are not his paeans to literature but those moments when he represents his characters at their worst.

Koolaids includes a playlet featuring two upper-class Lebanese women meeting in a café in Paris to gossip about their friends: “The Ballan girl is incredibly ugly. I can’t imagine what [her husband] saw in her.” “As ugly as the Bandoura girl?” “No, my dear, that one is really ugly. This one is close, though.” “That one was so ugly. I couldn’t believe she found a husband.” “Money, dear, money. Daddy has money.” This goes on for ten pages; the whole thing is wicked and pitch-perfect.

Another memorable episode occurs forty pages into An Unnecessary Woman. Aaliya tells the story of Ahmad, a bookish young Palestinian who once helped her at the store and sought her reading recommendations. As soon as the war starts, he joins a militia and quickly rises through the ranks. Rumors suggest he has become an expert torturer. Now Aaliya wants him to get her a gun. Her apartment was burgled—the city is slipping into anarchy—and she needs it for self-defense. She meets Ahmad at his well-appointed apartment and finds a very different man from the one who helped her stock the shelves:

“Slacks pressed and tailored, the white shirt fitted and expensive, the face smiling and clean-shaven.” Aaliya, on the other hand, hasn’t showered in many days—running water has become a luxury—and wears a pink tracksuit with sequined swirls. Ahmad says he will give her a gun (and a hot shower) in return for sex. She agrees.

During intercourse, on her hands and knees, Aaliya feels Ahmad’s fingers squeezing spots on her lower back and suddenly realizes that he is removing her blackheads. He apologizes, “It had been unconscious. He couldn’t see a blackhead on his own skin without removing it and didn’t realize he was doing the same with me. I asked him not to stop.” Here is moral capitulation, erotic pleasure, vanity, and surprising tenderness—fiction that matches the complexity of history. All the rest is literature.


Rabih Alameddine’s An Unnecessary Woman is published by Grove Press.

Beirut Hay Festival starts today…May 8, 2013

Coup d’envoi ce soir du Hay Festival

Andrew Bossones is one of the organizers of this cultural event. Intellectuals, artists and thinkers will debate for 3 days on varied subjects, such as literature, illustrated works, economic development, human rights…

 Zico House hosts conferences in English such as “The struggle of women in a post-patriarchal context in the Arab World”, “Freedom of expression and censorship”… Joe Sacco, the American reporter will open the Festival. (I have reviewed one of his illustrated stories about the horror journey of African immigrants fleeing the atrocities of their States and having to cross the desert of Libya to reach the island of Malta…)

Al-Madina theater will host Hanan al-Shaykh (I reviewed a few of her books), Nidal Achkar and Hanif Kuireshi.

The Baroness Helena Kennedy will debate on « La liberté d’expression : un droit universel ? » before meeting with the journalist Hani Chucrallah.
Patrick Deville, Femina Prize 2012, Cherif Majdalani and Farès Sassine will speak at the French Institute of Beirut.
Venetia  Rainey, from the Daily Star, published this piece on Joe Sacco, first speaker in the Hay Festival:

Joe Sacco  is in no mood to mess around. “I can’t  pretend I am ‘objective’ about certain topics,” he says.

“In some situations there is such a thing as the oppressor and the oppressed,  and my goal is to give the oppressed a voice.”

The vaunted Maltese-American graphic novelist is well known for his  unwillingness to kowtow to conventional notions of journalistic objectivity:  presenting two, equally apportioned sides to every story.

“The problem with journalism  is that it is often a mere recording  of events from day to day,’” he explains. “A newspaper story might be factually accurate without giving the reader a sense of the ‘why.’”

It is Sacco’s pursuit of this sense of “why” – his scrutiny of the big and  small facets of history to find another way to understand and explain the  world’s daily tragedies – that drives his work and gives it its potency.

He is making his maiden voyage to Beirut  this week, among the cluster of writers and literary personalities to participate in Hay Festival Beirut. One of the  international franchises of the U.K.’s renowned literary festival in Hay-on-Wye,  the event was launched here in 2012, and provided a rare platform for the  mingling Lebanese and international writers.

Sacco was born in 1960 in Malta. His parents – an engineer and a teacher –  emigrated when he was very young to escape the influence of Roman Catholicism, a  theme he has explored in numerous works since.

He spent his childhood in Australia, where, surrounded by European immigrants  who regularly talked about war, he grew up thinking of conflict as a part of  life.

At the age of 12 his family moved the United States, where he studied  journalism at the University of Oregon. There he worked a series of jobs that  included co-founding the satirical comic magazine “Centrifugal  Bumble-Puppy.”

He was intrigued by the media’s portrayal of the Middle East and eventually  his travels found him in occupied Jerusalem.

“The only time I heard the word ‘Palestinian,’” he recalls, “was in relation  to incidents like terrorist attacks and hijackings. As a result, I grew up  thinking Palestinians were terrorists – pure and simple. I had to educate myself  about the Palestinian issue.”

At first, Sacco was nervous about venturing into the West Bank and  embarrassed to tell people he was writing a comic book (of all things) about the  Occupied Territories during the First Intifada.

Yet, after two months his notebooks were bulging, and “Palestine” was  published in nine issues between 1993 and 1995. Perhaps surprisingly for those  who have come to know his work more recently, his first solo venture was not a  commercial success.

His breakthrough came in 2000 with the release of “Safe Area  Gorade: The War in Eastern Bosnia  1992-1995,” which won an Eisner Award  for best original graphic novel –  though recognized as a graphic novelist, Sacco himself prefers the less inflated  term “comic book.”

“Palestine” was later republished more successfully in a single volume of 288  pages. He’s since released several other books and collections of earlier  pieces, which focused largely on Bosnia and the Palestinian territories.

Footnotes in Gaza” (2009), one of his best-known works, delves into two mass  killings in 1956, which had been consigned to the bin of history – one in Khan  Younis, and one in Rafah. “Footnotes” is now being adapted into a feature-length  animated film, to be directed by Denis Villneuve  – who helmed the 2010 screen  version of Wajdi Mouawad’s stage play “Incendies.”

“I’m somewhat ambivalent about turning ‘Footnotes in Gaza’ into a movie,” he  says.

“I don’t think that film is any more or less valid a medium than comic books.  But the story is about the massacre of Palestinians in 1956, and that’s a story  that should be heard by a wider audience than I’ve reached with the book.”

Sacco wants nothing to do with the new project.

“I decided to be hands off,” he continues. “For one thing, I don’t want to  interfere with someone else artistic vision, and for another, I spent seven  years on the book and it was really time for me to move on to other  subjects.”

It will be interesting to see how successfully Sacco’s engaging mix of  memoir, reportage and history, conveyed through close-ups, talking heads and  double-page panoramas can be transferred to celluloid.

Adult comic books can lend themselves to exaggeration,  and Sacco’s  figures are solidly drawn and plain-speaking. “I do think a journalist should be  honest,” he explains, “recording exactly what he or she is seeing and  hearing.”

Each detailed frame, which readers can pore over at their own pace, gives  each person’s stories a rich context that is impossible to relay in an article  or a minute-long TV report.

For Sacco, there is a difference between how journalists and artists operate,  a distinction he upholds in his work. “You have to be a little cold-hearted to  get the story accurately,” he explains. “Whatever you might be hearing, you have  to keep people on track. It’s a bit clinical. You can’t let yourself get  emotionally caught up.

“For me, the emotion comes later when I’m drawing. When you’re drawing  someone, you internalize that person somehow. You have to channel their feelings  into the drawing.

“Journalism is about switching something off; art is about switching  something on.”

Although he never studied art – and still doesn’t think drawing is his strong  point – he continues to hand-draw everything, working from photos and sketches  he makes while in the field.

It’s a painstaking process, so he is picky about which projects he takes  on.

“I have to ask myself whether I will still be 100 percent engaged in the  project three or four or five years down the road when I’m still drawing it,” he  says. “I cannot work on a story I am not emotionally committed to.

“So I only tackle projects that kick me in the gut.”

As gut-kicking material is a core criteria for starting a project, Sacco  concedes Lebanon’s stories may tempt him to pick up his pencil again.

Lebanon  is a complicated place and I can think of  any number of stories that might sustain my interest,” he says.

“This is my first visit. Sometimes you don’t know what story would interest  you until you’re there.”

Joe Sacco will be speaking at the Beirut Hay Festival on May 8-9. For more  information visit http://www.hayfestival.com/beirut. His latest book, “Journalism,” is  available from select bookshops.

A moment from “Footnotes in Gaza.”

A  version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on May  08, 2013, on page 16.
Read more:  http://www.dailystar.com.lb/Culture/Books/2013/May-08/216233-off-for-journalism-on-for-art.ashx#ixzz2SnEt0vpr (The Daily Star :: Lebanon News ::  http://www.dailystar.com.lb)
Note 1: Pour plus d’informations, le programme entier est disponible en anglais et en français sur le site http://www.hayfestival.org/beirut.

Note 2: Coup d’envoi ce soir du Hay Festival

Published in the Lebanese French daily, L’Orient/Le Jour this May 8, 2013: Coup d’envoi ce soir du Hay Festival

Initiative Intellectuels, artistes et penseurs débattront pendant trois jours sur des sujets variés aux quatre coins de Beyrouth dans le cadre du Hay Festival.

Partout dans le monde, et cela depuis plus de 25 ans, le Hay Festival met à l’honneur la diversité culturelle et l’échange intellectuel en invitant écrivains, penseurs, historiens et artistes à se réunir, partager et débattre sur le monde tel qu’il est et tel qu’il pourrait être.
À partir de ce soir et jusqu’au 10 mai, la capitale libanaise accueille le festival pour la deuxième année consécutive. Cette fois, les invités discuteront principalement de la littérature et des ouvrages illustrés, du développement économique ainsi que des problèmes auxquels font face les droits de l’homme. Prévu sur trois jours seulement, le programme est chargé.

Quelques temps forts Zico House accueillera des conférences en anglais sur des sujets tels que « Les combats des femmes dans un contexte arabe postautoritaire », « La liberté d’expression et la censure », ou « Les contes graphiques ». Sur ce dernier thème, Joe Sacco, le reporter américain célèbre pour ses reportages en croquis et bandes dessinées sur des terrains difficiles tels que la Palestine et plus récemment Gaza, sera présent au Beyrouth Art Center ce soir, à 18h, et demain, à 15h, à l’auditorium du Hostle Student Center de l’AUB.

Au théâtre al-Madina ce soir, à 20h 30, Hanan al-Shaykh, une des auteures les plus lues et traduites du Moyen-Orient, rencontrera l’actrice et réalisatrice Nidal Achkar autour des poétiques et séduisants récits de Shéhérazade. Les mystérieux contes des Mille et Une Nuits seront lus en arabe et sous-titrés en anglais. Demain 9 mai, à partir de 19h30, le 392RMEIL393 recevra Hanif Kuireshi.

Classé parmi les cinquante meilleurs écrivains britanniques en 2008, ce dernier a vu nombre de ses ouvrages adaptés au cinéma. Il conversera avec l’écrivain journaliste Rosie Boycott.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

October 2020
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