SUAVEART concentrates on the cultural value between art and life. Presenting the stories and issues related to “island, art and life”. Creating the borderless dialogues that can be found everywhere in our daily life.

Short info of Artist

Betina is a visual and performance artist based in the Netherlands. She locates her practice at the intersection of Architecture and Performance. Her work is site-specific and explores the performing body as an active agent in the shaping of our physical environments.

Betina has obtained a Bachelor of Architecture from the American University of Beirut (2017) and a Master in Scenography from the Hogeschool van de Kunsten Utrecht (2020)

Keyword 1 : Borders

Lebanon is not an island. It is a country with one coast to the sea, and borders to neighboring countries. As a Lebanese citizen, I lived in the country of Lebanon, but felt as though I was living in a suspended patch of land; I have never crossed the lebanese borders by land. 

Crossing the borders with Syria is not an option (for obvious reasons), crossing the borders of the Israeli occupation is also not an option. So there is simply no crossing of borders. To go to other countries, one must fly. Just as though it were an island.

When you cannot cross borders, you are not free in circulation, in movement, in exploration of the world, or in survival. Borders are the oppressors & occupiers tools to deprive and kill.

Keyword 2 : Microcosmos

Lebanon is not an island. It is a Microcosmos inside a microcosmos inside another microcosmos. It is cosmos of the nuclear family inside the cosmos the extended family inside the cosmos of the neighborhood inside the cosmos of the village inside the cosmos of the region inside the cosmos of the region’s religion inside the cosmos of the rural inside the cosmos of the periphery inside the cosmos of the country. 

And each cosmos looks at itself, it gets used to itself. Inside the cosmos you don’t see what is beyond. You don’t see what other places look like. You don’t see how similar other places are, how different they are. How similar other people are, how different they are. You only see your cosmos and what it offers and it all seems complete, full. It is what you’ve known and it is comforting for some time.

Keyword 3 : Resistance

Lebanon is not an island. But it resists like islands do. Since I am a child I remember Lebanon being threatened by its neighboring political games, which were very much involved in the local policial games. It was either the fear of Israelis dropping bombs and launching attacks in the south of lebanon, or the fear of the syrian regime interfering in local politics and assassinating local leaders who spoke against the syrian dictatorship. 

The way I see it, from this constant threat, and the failure of the local government to protect the people from these threats (in fact they were complicit in these crimes) there came the feelings of non-safety and non-trust: Non-trust in governments, non-trust in national identities, non- trust in investigations, non-trust in international or foreign intervention… And eventually this skepticism lead to non-trust of religious figures, non-trust of patriarchal figures and so on and so on… 

I think it is specifically this feeling of being abandoned by the larger structure that starts the need to stand strong and in solidarity with the other abandoned. There start the alliances, the solidarity networks and resistance to the status-quo. And although it starts from a non-trust, it seems to also be driven by trust: and that is why the idealists are those resisting!


Thank you so much!

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