Elyssar Press is committed to the power of human knowledge, to telling tales that remind us of the joy of being alive and sharing in a living, thriving space.
When the Beirut port exploded in August of 2020, it shattered more than buildings and homes: it reopened wounds, grief, and fears that many had experienced during the long and brutal Lebanese civil war. Loss of life reached the hundreds and injuries numbered in the thousands.More than 300,000 people were left homeless. In addition to this devastation, the people experienced the loss and destruction of parts of it’s art center, including the Sursock Museum, The Arab Image Foundation, the Sfeir-Semler Gallery, and the Beirut Art Center.
How does the act of witnessing hardship and molding powerful art change the landscape of local and global hardship? In this anthology, over 20 voices come together to explore this question and challenge the notion of resilience itself.
The Dar al Kalima University College of Arts and Culture’s program called Nabad is an innovative program that empowers artists, arts organizations, and creative enterprises in Southwestern Asia and North Africa. Nabad engaged 20 artists, poets, authors, activists, and academics to tell their stories and foster a much-needed dialogue on resilience & resistance culture in Lebanon.
The Beirut Call challenges readers to consider alternatives for countries that face wars, crises, instability, and despair. When people experience grief and uncertainty, the arts offer one way, however small, to engage the people through deep and emotional connections.
Each essay, poem, artwork, and photograph portray a glimpse into the day of the Beirut port explosion and also offer a direct commentary regarding the local and global response. Artists and activists, professors and poets, and entire collectives wrote, photographed, filmed, spoke, and sang about the city they saw and the city they wished to see. The result is a rich dialogue about social and political issues and the role of art itself.
The Beirut Call presents Lebanon from a hundred eyes, telling the story from many perceptions and expressions that speak to Lebanese in their homeland and in the Lebanese diaspora. The book transcends the borders of Lebanon as contributors address worldwide issues of war, peace, memory, history, identity, creativity, cultural resistance, resilience, artistic activism, human rights, feminism, social justice, intercultural dialogue.
We challenge you to use this publication as a catalyst for discussions in schools, universities, arts & culture workshops, learning programs, youth and community centers, women’s groups, NGOs, and alternative education programs.
Proceeds will help Dar al Kalima University College of Arts and Culture continue to fund artists, arts NGOs, and small creative enterprises’ projects in Lebanon.
The book can be used for courses on world cultures; cultural studies; world poetry; Middle Eastern studies; contemporary arts; interdisciplinary arts; peacebuilding; social change; art, activism and social movements; resilience; etc.
Recommended teaching/learning methods utilizing the book or parts of it are readings and discussions, experiential and collaborative learning, research projects, storytelling, reflective activities, and workshops.
Let us know what’s going on and what you’re reading these days. We’ll get back to you as soon as we’re able.