Weapons of Mass Creativity

Iraqi and Cambodian Artists turn war metal leftovers to works of art

By: Niam Itani, Co-Founder at Snazzy Bazaar

Growing up during the Lebanese Civil War, which officially ended more than 25 years ago, I am constantly amazed at how that war continues to define me as a human being.  The war has left an everlasting mark on me. I tried to get rid of its traces for many years, but eventually I surrendered and embraced the fact that it will always shape who I am.  This is why I find myself in awe of people who are able to rise above war and even try to undo its effects.

Sinoeun Men from Cambodia and Fattah Mohammad from Iraq do that on a daily basis. Both men have lived many years of conflict in their own countries, and today they are dedicated to creative initiatives that transform material war remnants into works of art.

Read Full Original Post at: https://www.snazzybazaar.com/blogs/news/weapons-of-mass-creativity

Snazzy Bazaar’s First Puerto Rico Artist

A couple of months ago, we were at Kamoli, a snazzy little coffee place on Calle Loiza in Santurce for our weekly offsite meeting. A cappucino or was it a mimosa? Anyways, after two of those, we walked out to the street and this caught our attention. We knew just enough Spanish to understand what […]

via Pushing the Buttons of Creativity — Blog for the Snazzy You!

Snazzy Bazaar

My newest venture & adventure in life is Snazzy Bazaar.

It is a very exciting and crazy step for me but these crazy steps have been the highlights of life so far – Thanks to my family and friends around me who always seem to accept my craziness, for good or bad.

The first major crazy thing I did in my life was stand on the balcony of the fifth floor in Beirut in 1999 and scream out loud to celebrate getting accepted into the NYU Tisch School of Arts for an MFA in Dramatic Writing, when I was 19 years old.  At that time, given the then very serious person that I was, it was a truly crazy deed (the screaming from the balcony).

In 2005, I did the second major crazy thing when I decided to leave my family & friends behind and go to work for Al Jazeera in Qatar. That prompted the third major crazy thing, when…

In 2010, I decided to leave my job to pursue an independent filmmaking career in Beirut. This was the beginning of placeless films and many great memories that I will hopefully be making for a long time with my friend and superstar producer, Lara.

In 2015, I took another crazy decision when my friend Vidya and I decided to sell everything we have and pack our lives and move to Puerto Rico – a place neither of us had visited before.

Today, as I recall all these great thrills, I feel grateful and lucky to have parents, siblings and friends who are able to put up with my craziness. In a few years, I will be doing another major crazy thing (still have to find out what it is) and I will be telling more stories inshallah.

I Left Beirut

And so, I left Beirut (again), one day…

My experiment as a returnee failed miserably.  You need A LOT of self motivation and positivity to survive in a place like Post War Lebanon – unfortunately.

I have much better feelings towards Lebanon when I am away.

I love it more, I am more proud of it, I defend it when someone speaks ill of it,  I am able to read more about it and tolerate it, all these things are way easier to do when I am outside the country. Most Lebanese people with dual nationalities, or who don’t reside in Lebanon full time, have similar sentiments.

As I progress in editing my film and the theme of home keeps popping up, the concept and definition of “country” fades away.

We grow up repeating slogans such as “My Country is more precious than My Life”. But I feel that our countries are not more precious than our lives.  Countries are man made.

And then again, back to the initial thought, what defines our countries? Google Maps? The signs at the entrances and exits of our cities?  The place where our families live(d) or descended from?  I ask these questions about belonging to the country while most Lebanese people embrace and sacrifice their lives for belonging to more limited entities  – the village, the tribe, the sect, the religion, the party, the elite… the ZEFT.

And we’ve been conditioned to believe that life is worth one of these things -except for the Zeft; which comes free every election season or another –if elections do take place.

The first step into growing beyond our fanaticism and narrow mindedness is to strip naked from these attachments. They are a major obstacle that prevents us from moving forward with our revolution against corruption and political sectarianism.

تخيلوا بكرة بعد شي عشرة أو خمسة عشر سنة، يصير هيدا يللي “ذبح” الناس باسم الإسلام أو السياسة أو الايديولوجية تبعيته، تخيلوه يصير رئيس لبلد ديموقراطي ويروح ويجي بين مطارات العالم ويستقبلوه الرؤساء والزعماء بينما شعبه عم يتعفن ويموت من المرض والقهر والظلم

لأنو هيدا صنف الناس الموجودين حالياً بالحكم بلبنان اليوم

تحت مظلة قانون عفو “كبير” عن النفس نمت عندنا ثقافة “العفو” عن المجرم الصغير والمجرم الكبير واللص والقاتل والفاسد والخائن

ولحد ما يتحاسب المجرم الكبير ما لح يتربى ويعتبر اللبناني من الدروس اللي صارت. هذا إذا كان مدرك انو في شي “خطأ” صاير معنا بالزمانات