(Beirut) – Human Rights Watch is publishing its first art book, “War/Identities – When Words Aren’t Enough,” to raise awareness about human rights issues in Lebanon and encourage public engagement. The book will be introduced at a public event on December 8, 2016, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Dar El-Nimer for Arts & Culture.
The book includes contributions from 41 local artists whose work reflects on human rights issues in Lebanon, including women’s rights, migrant domestic worker rights, torture, disappearances, refugees, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights. It includes works by inspiring Lebanese and local Palestinian artists, including Paul Guiragossian, Fadi Barrage, AbdulRahman Katanani, and Huguette Caland.
“Lebanon’s tumultuous history and the violence and abuse that have engulfed the region have not gone unnoticed by local artists,” said Lama Fakih, Beirut director at Human Rights Watch. “Local artists act both as chroniclers of abuse and as apt commentators on what needs to be done to improve rights for all in Lebanon.”
The book’s author, Marie Tomb, an art historian, provides an expert analysis of the 153 artworks featured in the book within the context of Human Rights Watch’s years-long work in Lebanon.
The book is an artistic invitation to reflect on the state of human rights in Lebanon today. By presenting human rights issues through the work of local artists, Human Rights Watch hopes to encourage greater awareness of rights abuse in Lebanon and public engagement in the fight for universal human rights.
This project came to fruition as a result of a partnership between Saleh Barakat, an art expert and curator, Tomb, and Human Rights Watch, with the support of the Human Rights Watch Beirut committee, a group of Lebanese citizens who are dedicated to the mission of achieving human rights for all.
All proceeds from book sales will go directly to the Human Rights Watch work in Lebanon.