Carousel (Lebanon)

Saturday, 6th December, 2014 | 5:45pm | The Screening Room

Filmmaker: Jackson Allers and Tony H. Khoury
Country: Lebanon 
Language: English
Duration: 7 min
Genre: Documentary, Art, Cultures
Year of Release: 2013

'Carousel' the film: This film explores Tom Young's artistic and philosophical relationship with the villa, its new Lebanese owners - the Feghali family -and the legacy left by the villa's original owners -the Baloumian family. But it is primarily a film about Tom Young, and like the exhibition, is a story of engagement, heritage, loss, memory and a story of art and its transformative power for the artist and the city.

'Carousel' backstory: In the middle of Beirut's SoHo-like Gemmayzeh district is a large 3-story mansion that has remained empty for nearly 40-years - surrounded by the new construction that has recently characterised Beirut's gentrified modern identity. The old house, which was begun in the 19th century and completed in the 1920's, was bought by a wealthy Armenian trading family in the 1950's, who eventually fled Lebanon during the Civil War. As chance would have it, British artist Tom Young discovered the villa in the wee morning hours of New Year's day, 2013. That fateful moment was the genesis of an art and film project that would span 6 months, culminating with a self-curated on-site exhibition in May by Young called "Carousel."

Writer, music journalist, filmmaker and broadcaster, Jackson Allers has focused the majority of his work on the subcultures of his surroundings. He has documented the plight of farm workers in rural North Carolina with Pulitzer Prize-winning author Robert Coles (Duke University 1990-1994); advocated for the legal rights of the Roma population in Kosovo (2004-2006); created digital-audio archives for a book on ancient Bedouin stories in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley (2010), and spent the better part of 25-years writing about and documenting independent arts and culture movements during his travels.

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