Over the past year, the Galerie Janine Rubeiz team has been keen on archiving and digitalizing the archive of “Dar Al Fan W Al Adab”: an art and culture platform established during Beirut’s “Heyday” by my mother, Janine Rubeiz, in 1967.
The archive encompasses a scope of activities that include series of debates, conferences, exhibitions, concerts, poetry contests, film screenings, put forth by this cultural platform between 1967 and 1992. The archive has been organized and digitalized, and it is currently being distributed to several research platforms as well as libraries of museums and foundations across the Middle East.
I am determined to continue my mother’s legacy and I am working on several projects simultaneously in order to achieve that goal. One effort that has been made in this context is the appointment of a researcher to produce and publish a paper on the relationship between the Lebanese cultural scene and politics, focusing in particular on the effect that the civil war has had on our community. The research aims to investigate the ability of art to incite long-term political change. By taking the Lebanese civil war (1975-1990) as a case study, it examines how the Lebanese came to form a collective memory of the war through the arts, in the absence of an official history book. It will also demonstrate the vital role that cinema, photography, fine arts, as well as novels played in creating a regime for remembrance, resisting the political amnesia that was installed by the post-war government. Through several interviews that I conducted with a number of politically engaged Lebanese artists from various fields of art, the argument is supported by the demonstration of the actual influence that art has had on Lebanese politics until this day.
We will soon publish this research, and it will be made accessible to the Lebanese public. We are also working on establishing a website that includes the entire archive, in an effort to make it accessible for researchers on a wider level. I strongly believe that supporting and encouraging these artists will lead the way in enlightening this generation and the generations to come about our past.