As citizens of a country that holds many secrets and stories, we are unable to define who we are. We exist in a mélange of cultures, ideologies and backgrounds. For Tamara Zantout, author and producer of Drawing Lines, having lived in London for most of her childhood, she sought to understand her own identity and attachment to Lebanese culture or that which has been idealized in a romanticized notion of nationalism as opposed to the experience of re-entering the Lebanese sphere. The challenge was to adopt a voyeuristic approach to street art whilst maintaining the duality of the detached observer. It was an attempt to understand how different and diverse local and foreign artists communicate Lebanese identity.
“Drawing Lines focuses on the perception of Lebanese identity through the poetic analysis of street-art lenses such as revolt, iconography, journey, identity and heritage.”
“An artistic journey through the streets of Beirut… How this Lebanese woman has awakened people from their slumber”
“That is what the art book ‘Drawing Lines’ depicts in its two-hundred-page spread, through the works of dozens of graffiti artists found on the streets of Beirut. ‘Drawing Lines’ made its much-awaited debut to a large crowd at Beit Beirut, an iconic space from the Civil War, which houses vivid memories of the distant past.”
“The photos of street art across Beirut are complemented by moving commentary, probing into what the author calls the lost Lebanese Identity.”
“Walking around the streets of Beirut, it’s hard to miss the vast and varied graffiti art that decorates its walls. Some express dissent. Others are tributes to celebrities of a bygone era. Tamara Zantout believes these murals to be the key to understanding the Lebanese identity, a topic she explores in her art book “Drawing Lines,”
The Daily Star
“Tamara Zantout’s gorgeous new book, Drawing Lines, provides an in depth look at Beirut’s burgeoning street art scene. By exploring Beirut’s street art, Zantout offers an entirely new perspective on Beirut and its people.”