I was born and raised in the 1970s-1980s war in Lebanon.
War disconnects lives, memories, and experiences by creating endless cycles of violence, murderous identities, and wounded memories.
I have come to believe that these memories are inevitably transmitted from generation to generation in private and public spaces, and that socio-political conviviality and peace need both individual and national healing processes. Or else, the load of traumas that we carry will prevail, fueled by the continuous local and regional crises and State-sponsored amnesia.
Growing up in war left me with a thirst to discover the truth behind the endless years spent in shelters and displacement, the survival techniques I learned, such as how to avoid snipers and land mines, the suffering following the destruction of our houses and the horrific deaths of loved ones, the fascination with war games I used to play, and the hours spent with my parents trying to look for bread.
War has definitely marked my identity, world vision, and visual expression, and it has fueled my pursuit for connections between cultures and religions; the contemporary and the traditional; the physical and the mental; the visible and the invisible; the past, present, and future; the logos (word) and the eikon (image); humanity, the natural and the spiritual… My pursuit for peace…
Contrary to war, peace is the art of connecting. It is a continuous process encompassing historical subjectivities and energies in interpenetrative modes; a process of interacting dynamics, fragmented and common truths, voices, paths, and pathos.
A Duwama (spiral or vortex) is a visualization of this peacebuilding process. It symbolizes life versus death, positive movement towards the manifestation of connections, and therefore, towards forgiveness, healing, and conviviality.
Every Duwama is a story of transformation, from a shattered and disconnected situation, event, emotion or experience, to a connected realm.
Pamela Chrabieh is a Lebanese & Canadian Doctor in Sciences of Religions, scholar, university professor, visual artist, activist, writer and consultant. She has exhibited her artworks in Canada, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates, and has organized and participated in art workshops and art therapy sessions in North America, Europe and the Middle East. She was selected as one of the 100 most influential women in Lebanon in 2013, and won several national and regional prizes in Canada and the United Arab Emirates. https://pamelachrabiehblog.com/