To fight the sense of dread that has gripped residents of a Shiite-majority Beirut suburb since it was hit by two suicide bombings in January, artists have gone on a mission to paint the neighbourhood in bright, hopeful colours.
The “Bridge of Colours” festival, which took place Sunday, was just the latest initiative by artists in the suburb of Haret Hreik to lift the spirits of their neighbours. Dozens of artists, musicians and poets from all over the country joined them under a highway overpass for a day of art-making. The festival took place just a few hundred metres from two blast sites, where road barriers set up following these tragic events are gradually being painted in bright colours by local artists.
A car bomb exploded in a busy street of Haret Hreik on January 2, killing two people. On January 21, another car bomb went off less than 100 metres away, killing six. Dozens of people were injured in both blasts. Haret Hreik, like much of Beirut’s southern suburbs, is a largely Shiite area, known for being supportive of Hezbollah.
Cement blocks painted by Ali Bahssoun and his friends.