Yasmine Dabbous
The Liberty to Protest, the Protest for Liberty

No.5 of six photographic artworks printed on cardboard, 29.7x 42 cm each
$300 each

This photographic work is a protest against the Lebanese government's use and abuse of the corona virus crisis to crush the country's burgeoning revolution.

The October 17 Revolution came in response to years of corruption and abuse of power, and to an increasing economic crisis. Two million people took to the streets in a country of four million, protesting against systematic theft at the highest level and increasing feelings of helplessness, hopelessness and deprivation.

COVID-19 came right in time. While television stations, funded and supported by political parties, broadcast fear mongering programs and reports about COVID-19, the Lebanese government ordered a total lockdown early on and proceeded, meanwhile, to arrest protesters, destroy the tents of dissenters in Downtown Beirut, pass a series of controversial laws and decisions, and make a variety of public appointments to consolidate its power. The lockdown came at a time of financial meltdown, driving an already declining economy to the abyss.

I took these photographs with the help of my husband during the height of the lockdown, opting for a position of protest, liberty and defiance both against the government and against the enforced lockdown. Ihave chosen to lie on the asphalt when most people were hiding at home to reclaim my right to protest and to express the idea that political abuse is more perilous than the virus.