Photos / Lebanese artist turns explosion debris into symbol of hope

Hayat Nazer believes in Lebanese resilience. He says those affected by the blast who saw the 2.6-meter statue, temporarily displayed in front of the damaged harbor, felt strength and hope to continue.

By:
Reuters

12:57 PM / 17/11/2020

He stands almost ten feet tall with his arm raised, the wind blows his hair away from his scarred face, and a broken clock at his feet marks 6:08, the time an explosion rocked the port of Beirut on the afternoon of the 4th. of August.

The unnamed statue of Lebanese artist Hayat Nazer is made from broken glass and twisted materials that belonged to people’s homes before the explosion that left 200 dead and 6,000 injured and symbolizes the city’s hopes of rising from the rubble.

“If you look at the statue, half has a standing leg, the hand seems surrendered, there is a scar on the face with the hair blowing in the wind and the clock on this side, as if the explosion was still happening,” Nazer told Reuters Television .

“But the other hand and the other leg (…) are bent as if he is starting to walk and is raising his hand, he wants to continue, he wants to go on and get up from the rubble. And that’s the truth, that’s our truth, ”said the 33-year-old artist.

The massive explosion, which swept through a swath of Beirut and left some 300,000 residents homeless, has exacerbated Lebanon’s worst financial crisis since the 1975-1990 civil war.

Nazer believes in Lebanese resilience.

The artist says that those affected by the explosion who saw the 2.6-meter statue, temporarily displayed in front of the damaged harbor, felt strength and hope to continue.

Nazer had already started making a sculpture of a woman before the blast, but volunteered to clean up the destroyed houses and streets. At night, he would return to the sculpture and use the shards of glass and metal pieces that he had collected.

“I felt that Beirut was a woman (…) that despite what she suffered is very strong,” he said.

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