Charbel Harb's SCARS: A Taste of The Wounds Eating up at Lebanon
Posted on 2020 Sep,14  | By ArabAd staff

The tragic events that shook up Beirut recently left a bitter taste among its people. Broken, hurt and devastated, they gathered up to recollect whatever is left of the city in the hope of bringing back a hint of its lost flavors. SCARS, a visual project by food stylist and photographer Charbel Harb that incorporates his two passions into one patriotic narrative, is one of many artistic interpretations that emerged from the heart of the crisis.

“In order not to forget and in honor of the injured, we sought to interpret and visualize the Beirut Explosion and the scars it left behind through our lens,” Harb explained on his Instagram page where the project was posted.

Using food as an unconventional medium, he sought to depict the different forms of scars eating up at the Lebanese in the aftermath of the crisis, in collaboration with photographer and cinematographer Chady Barakat.

The end product consisted of a series of images featuring volunteer community members as models, in addition to a comprehensive video bringing together all the different scenarios and subjects into one coherent entity.

“SCARS depicts the bitter taste of our country and the Beirut crisis, along with the different feelings of despair and devastation we all experienced, and that we have to constantly live through,” Harb told ArabAd.

With an Arabic tagline طعم الوجع بيعلْم [the taste of hurt lingers], the visual material resulting from the project chose food, a pillar of Lebanese culture, to convey deep-set emotions through art.

“ portrays and reflects the art and beauty of food, the way I see it, through my lens,” Harb noted. “After the Beirut explosion, I was deeply affected and found it really hard to proceed with any project, my heart was and still is with the injured -be it physically or psychologically- and that's how the idea of SCARS originated.”

Delving into the technical process, the studio shoot featured concept creator Harb as art director/stylist and Barakat as main photographer. The two collaborated with an SFX artist who volunteered to support the project and help achieve the desired visual effect.

“You can say that the whole project was a pro bono act of love,” Harb explained, hoping to be able to take the narrative beyond social media by exhibiting in Beirut to further help the affected community.