Donna Maria Feghaly

Prestige issue 275, June 2016

«Retrieving Beirut» or the art vehicle of messages

Donna Maria Feghaly, graduated in Fine Arts from Paris and interior architecture from Alba, is the author of the initiative «Retrieving Beirut» first platform of committed art in Lebanon. Organized in collaboration with Unilux and the Italian brand iGuzzini in partnership with the Ministry of Economy and Commerce and the Brazilian Cultural Center, among others, the exhibition brings together eleven artists from different disciplines to create a cooperation and responsibility link with the company. Donna Maria Feghaly and three participating artists tell their impressions to Prestige.




Donna Maria Feghaly, founder and creative director of Noir Clair and curator of Retrieving Beirut.


The concept of «Retrieving Beirut» … Today we are witnessing in Lebanon an early awakening and revival, especially among young people. We have passed the trauma of war and many initiatives are being developed to change attitudes and break free. Several artistic areas are to be explored, and no city better than Beirut offers this bunch of opportunities for activities. The idea is to create a platform of committed art to reach a large audience and establish a link between artists and society. A relationship based on responsibility, because artists have the most effective tools, the finest and most subtle likely to awaken society and create thinking, with open discussions, to have a better future. The ideal is to create a snowball effect.

Tell us about the project … «Retrieving Beirut» marks the launch of this unique initiative. The projects are based on art and are intended to create an exchange of know-how with cultures abroad. It is a collaborative art exhibition, a festival of ideas highlighting prominent Lebanese and international artists, established and emerging who share their visions and dreams and transmit their message daily, through art installations. The exhibition location is a unique space, the K-Timber Warehouse in Jisr el Wati, a wood factory transformed into pop-up art gallery.

Why a factory? «Retrieving Beirut» is an initiative carrying  messages. It does not encourage art for art’s sake only, but also to develop the economic part of the city. The message behind this choice is that we can recycle spaces and inject new life into the existing architecture.

What are your goals in few words? We seek both organizers and artists, to highlight the importance of our heritage, the beauty of our local crafts and just the potential of our capital Beirut so often underestimated.

Who are the artists? Chadi Aoun, Karen Chekerdjian, Robert Cremona, Mukhi Sisters, Charbel Fakhri, Anthony Sahyoun, Elie Moubarak, Abdallah Hatoum, Dimitri Haddad, Youssef Haidar and Johnny Farah.

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