Lebanon’s female graphic designers draw battle lines

“Assassins,” by Rana Zaher, one of the four graphic designers whose posters were displayed in the “Critical Mass: Women in Graphic Design” exhibition during the Beirut Design Week on May 19-26. (photo by Rana Zaher – Instagram photo)

Lebanon’s female graphic designers draw battle lines

Author: Florence Massena

Powerful female figures of cinema and television, from cruel Cersei Lannister in “Game of Thrones” to unyielding Ellen Ripley in “Alien,” take striking poses in the posters by Samar Haddad, one of the new generation of women graphic designers in Lebanon.

SummaryPrint Women dominate the graphic design scene in Lebanon, but their work is more valued abroad than at home.

“Sadly, women still must fight for their place in a patriarchal society,” Haddad told Al-Monitor.

Haddad’s Space Vacation is one of the works in the exhibition “Critical Mass: Women in Graphic Design,” which was held May 19-26 at Beirut Design Week (BDW) at KED, a refurbished factory built in the 1930s in Karantina. The exhibition also displayed the posters of three other Lebanese women graphic designers: Rana Zaher, Yasmine Darwiche and Stephy Ibrahim for Saturn In Motion.

The styles of the four designers were widely divergent. Haddad’s representations of powerful fictional women included characters from famous TV series or movies. Next to her, Ibrahim displayed posters of six different cities (Amsterdam, Berlin, Vienna, Rotterdam, Athens and Beirut) as seen by the artist. Beirut was also the focus of the vibrant colors mixed with photographs of Darwiche, depicting Beirut in striking, almost postcard images — a positive city far from the pollution, traffic and construction people see every day. Zaher’s posters marked a contrast with the rest, with…

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