Infographics and human rights at Alt-city Hamra
By Admin Nj and Admin I: Migrant Workers Task Force and AltCity joined forces and held a Community day event with 2 exhibitions in honor of International Migrants Day, which took place on December 18. It was a glee down there! Everyone got the best out of the day with an enjoyable and interactive atmosphere that not only entertained us, but surely helped spread awareness of a really major cause.
The first exhibition was entitled “Lens on Life,” a series of photo essays created by 16 migrant workers directed by Ann Megalla; “Lens On Life” was displayed in a very organic placement making our Instagrams look lame; the pictures reflected very clear cultural interactions as well as the reality of a migrant worker’s journey in Lebanon.
the second exhibition was the result of the information design workshop that took place for 3 weeks led by Joumana Ibrahim, one of the very few specialized Lebanese Information designers.
“Visualize Migrant Workers’ Rights” the infographics exhbition, was like a ringleader; the variety of the approaches of design and the information displayed put on a visual show that kept every attendee interested in discovering the different rights and issues of migrant workers.
Talking design, and cutting a bit on the humane drama, the visual outcomes came very diverse and highly engaging, despite the fact that designers had a very limited time period to finalize the work, and that they come from different backgrounds and design levels. The work varied between safe/formal from one side and aesthetically beautiful from the other, with 2 breakthroughs for ‘ballsy’ statement pieces; the first is an Arabic tribal looking slang interpretation of the story of a migrant domestic worker by Reem Ismail and Nashaat Jurdy that appeared very insightful, and the second is a ‘pop’ inspired piece by Joseph Maalouf and Lucy-Maria Momdjian that used detergent identities to create infographics that can truly reflect the dark-ironic reality of the subject matter.
Migrant workers sure made benefit of their day off when they ate, danced and participated in a public event that welcomed them the way they should be welcomed at any Lebanese house. The best part was the Lebanese interaction with the event, we couldn’t stop listening to their music and imitating their dance moves, and if any of them wants to donate those patterned shirts, I’m highly interested! (Admin I).
This exhibition has definitely delivered its main message, it’s a success story that made us really proud being a part of its process, all along till it all came together in the final exhibition; a definite trading of cultural patterns that helped us realize how important these migrant workers are to us, and to their own societies.
Cheers to socially engaged design practices!