Thursday, October 8, 2009

Me & the Monsters

The idea for this project came to me when sitting at a table in Beirut with four Lebanese friends: one was Sunni, another Maronite, a third Shi’a and the fourth Greek Orthodox. It struck me that, though we all were friends and collaborative artists, they all belonged to different religious groups. The implications of this fact go very far, as I learned. In my “laic western mind” I could hardly believe that, for instance, in case of conflict, all of them would take refuge in completely different areas of the city/country. They would probably not communicate with each other until “normality” would come back. Still, there we were, laughing around the same table. Faced with this paradox, these questions came to my mind:

- How "really" real are these differences?
- And where do I belong? Which group would take me in?

If for a western woman (a tourist) these would be relatively easy questions to answer, what about a Green Monster? What about a total “alien"?

A few months later I asked my friends what did they think of this idea.
I refreshed their memories on that evening in Beirut, and how special it was for me.
Rima replied that in fact they themselves are a sort of Green Monster too in their communities.
They cross borders, they drink with the "enemy", they don't mind the gap... and then suddenly I had this vision of me sitting at a table with them, my FOUR GREEN MONSTERS!

I grabbed a green paper (where are colored pencils when you need one?) and sketched this:

But somehow this wasn't it yet...
I decided to ask somebody more capable to depict my imagination.
And so, brilliantly, Lucy Pepper did:

Four Green Monsters and a girl at a table in Beirut.

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