The Lebanese revolution marked one of the most empowering moments in the country’s history. The power of starting a conversation with a common goal in mind should truly never be underestimated for it brought everybody together during a time when unity was vital in the wake of such a devastating economic crisis. This situation did not only bring people together, but it also lit a spark of creativity in each person individually. There’s no denying that everyone was deep in their feelings about this whole ordeal and that rage had manifested into powerful statements that hit the streets in the form of posters, graffiti, flags and not to mention, FASHION! Many protestors brought some serious A-game with their wearable statements and invested so much of themselves to bring life to this REVOLUTION-ARY runway.
A Few Words are Worth A Million Lives
Some messages were told through printed statements on t-shirts or tank tops, which you can say has always been the expected route to take when wanting to spread a message across about a certain issue, but still very effective, nonetheless. Also, if you’ve ever walked past those Lebanese souvenir shops that sell those t-shirts that say ‘’I Love Beirut’’, you would recall that before everything turned upside down, we wouldn’t give all that merch a second look. But, since the public had truly woken up to take action towards this crisis, those t-shirts had a stronger meaning in those moments more than ever and people were dying to get their hands on them, so they could revolt the best way they knew how.
Less traditional pieces also charged down the biggest REVOLUTION-ARY runway Lebanon has ever seen or the first one ever probably. One of the most important functions of a statement piece is to draw eyes directly to it and get those cameras pointed in its direction, so that message is spread. For example, this sparkly cape hood inspired by the flag of our country itself; definitely caught the eyes of many. How could it not? It had drama, it had relevance and most importantly, it made the right amount of noise, which there wasn’t really a limit for. This piece just screamed ‘’Go big or go home’’!!! And for this girl, it seemed like the revolution was her only home during that moment and there was no other place she really felt like she had to be other than in those streets fighting for her rights as a Lebanese citizen.
Performance of their Lives; for their Lives
Along with making a statement through what they wore; on the 18th day of the revolution, these 3 protestors staged a powerfully dark presentation referencing white shrouds and execution ropes; raising the stakes of effecting change through the platform; courtesy of the revolution. Each of them in the same shroud, under the same type of rope, but each holding their own statement. This theatrical art piece represented the execution of political and civil acts throughout Lebanon’s history, which included the Civil War of 1975, Sectarianism and one even appeared to be a note directed to the government where this individual was saying that if he were to die, then all his organs should be donated to the poor except for his middle finger, which he would like to be put aside for the government. It was clever, heartfelt and overall showcases what a desperate time we’re living in where action is necessary now more than ever and that fear can’t drive us to have doubts about making decisions that we know now as a society we need to make, but to own them proudly.
To sum up, Lebanon has not witnessed a more exciting and more emotionally overwhelming time than when that economic crisis back in October first hit and lit a fire in all their hearts, which inspired the most crowded and loudest riots on the streets that the country has ever seen. And it allowed many of the current, young and future generations to voice their truths and wishes through various forms, including FASHION!
Photo : Yasmine Al Moutlak - Photoshoot first year student : Leen El Halabi