Artists in Beirut Struggling to Survive the Economical Crisis

Artist Ilat Knayzeh - Photo credits: Zayna Ayyad

Artists in Lebanon have always had a hard time relying on their art as a main source of income. Ilat Knayzeh, a 30 year old Lebanese mixed media artist started giving art lessons in Badaro, after the economical situation got worse in the country.

She has been painting since she was 7 years old. Knayzeh had three solo exhibitions and was part of 10 group exhibitions. She has delivered pieces of her artwork throughout the world and was exhibited in Morocco in 2018.

Knayzeh’s dream was to be a full time artist but after 11 years of professional painting she still has to work several other jobs to sustain herself. This isn’t the case of Knayzeh only, it is the case of most artists in Lebanon. In Lebanon, even before the current situation, there hasn’t been any official support for artists.

Interview with Ilat Knayzeh
Ilat while painting — Photo credits: Zayna Ayyad

“Artists in Lebanon and the Arab world are not well documented nor appreciated,” said Knayzeh, “we work our entire life to fulfill our dreams yet we find very minimal recognition.”

Knayzeh started giving art lessons in Badaro after the economical crisis in Lebanon, this was her only way for extra income, knowing that very few people are buying artwork these days. She found a way to keep pursuing her dream and yet secure a good income.

Ilat painting in her studio — Photo credits: Zayna Ayyad

“I learned that I can be anything that I wished to be if I worked harder than hard enough,” said Knayzeh “I tried working in other fields but it wasn’t self-fulfilling.”

Lebanon is a country full of artists, innovators and ambitious people. Most of these people either decide to leave to pursue their dreams outside their country, or choose to give up their passion and settle for a job that pays the bills, while, very few decide to take the risk and fight for their dreams in their country.

Report by Zayna Ayyad

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ARTivist, Digital Marketing Lover & an Enthusiastic Learner. IG / Facebook/ Twitter: @Zafeelz

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Zayna Ayyad

Zayna Ayyad

ARTivist, Digital Marketing Lover & an Enthusiastic Learner. IG / Facebook/ Twitter: @Zafeelz

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