37 years have passed since the train stopped. What was once Beirut’s main railway station is now but an abandoned memory located in a charming corner of Mar Mikhael. But, it seems, despite time’s seemingly cruel treatment, a part of us doesn’t want to forget. Mar Mikhael train station has since gained a sort of mystical status. Artists have never found it to be a source of inspiration capable of leaving them unsatisfied. And Friday’s event is a great witness to that.
Events company Achillea has brought many artists together – painters, graffiti artists, designers and illustrators – and asked them to give life to a site on the brink of extinction, and in need of saving. The event is named, quite aptly, “Waiting for the Train“. What Friday’s event is exactly, it’ll be up for you to decide. The organizers, Achillea, describe it as such:
Waiting for the train is a voyage into the depth of common consciousness; a depiction of the aspirations of a person waiting for the train, an exploration of what were once daily impressions of an average day lebanese commuter. A train of thought telling the story of those who stopped waiting, those who left, those who stayed and never lost hope.
The artists are the following: Benoit Debbane, Chad the Mad (Chady Abousleiman), Dispatch Beirut (Pamela Haydamous & Lea Tasso), Dihzhayners (Jubran E. Elias & Lana Shukri), EPS (Alfred Badr), Fish, Marie-Reine Karam, Match Stick (Raoul Mallat), Mayssa Abou Rahal, Nab (Nabil Assaf), Rami Chahine & Ziad Chakhtoura, Rami Mouallem, Roula Abdo, Sara Haidar, Sara Makki, Taz (Georges Tabatadze) and ZED (Elie Zaarour).
I was privileged enough to visit them while they were still preparing last Sunday. The following images are nothing but sneak peeks. You will want to check out the real thing.
Friday the 11th is the opening at 6pm. The event continues on Saturday and Sunday 12 to 6 pm. Link.