Friday, August 28, 2015

Love letters to Franco Gasparri...

 
Anyone not of a "certain age" (I am 40!), will not know who Franco Gasparri was - well, add all of today's heartthrobs together and put them to the power infinity and you will get a grasp of what that man did to women in the Arab world. He was introduced to our cultural norms via photo romanze magazines from Dar Assayad such as Samar and Rima. Lebanese author Marie Kosseifi has a beautiful article on this on her superb blog (I am a fan!). I previously did a full art project on Gasparri and how his name and presence unified Lebanese women from all sides of the spectrum, and how, in 1982 as the Israeli invasion was wiping Beirut and people were dying like flies, women were more concerned about the motorcycle accident that Gasparri went through writing him "love letters" published in the afore mentioned magazines (the accident made him a wheelchair user). Above is a sample (albeit written from a reader in Kuwait) of such letters. I stand by my theory, our pop culture is one of our rare common denominators as people, let us hang on to it and use it as a unifying weapon against division.
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