Sunday, December 30, 2012

Ending the year on a positive note.

Photo credit Holstee (manifesto)

I woke up today feeling positive. No, that is a lie, I woke up feeling vindicated. Which in itself is a bit negative. Because vindication goes against some small bitter need to feel “you were right” or to tell someone “I told you so”. But, actually, I was right.
As I end this year, a year which to put it in diplomatic terms left much to be desired, it is easy to feel a bit down and even let down. Today however, I see in clarity that what was the strangest, most illogical business scheme ever has actually “paid off” – which is an oxymoron as I am not making a red cent out of it.
My public identity these days, if the word public can be applied to someone living a bit like a monk, revolves around Beirut/NTSC and 7Upstairs publishing – two entities which seem to exist but do not do so. Who would have thought that the bookshop owner who told me “never give people free books” could be so wrong? Hmmm, actually, he told me that just as he was closing down his own bookstore in Achrafieh (that was in 2003).
But see, he was not making money from selling books. And neither am I, but my bookstore remains open. My overhead is practically zero, my stocking space is the size of an external hard drive, my bureaucratic logistics get paid to Serge who provides me with internet (I smuggle that and charge it to paying clients whose projects I do while using the same internet connection!)… Even the video bit has now gone to zero in terms of payments – I rarely use editors and when I do it is people who pitch in knowing I am not making off their back and their talents. Voice Overs are provided by adventurous friends. And the list goes on.
However, what seemed like a losing bet - creating a full publishing house which is not for profit, maintaining a high-standard content blog (all while not charging for it) which would become some sort of free speech forum all while remaining as accountable as possible – turned out to be one of those adventures which I live on day to day basis and call it “work”.
I think I sound like a sore loser today. A sore loser who actually won. But you know what? I was right. All along.
And before I leave, here's a work called "feast of the leftovers"... It has been recently scanned and it dates back to the 2004-2005 era of works (with a small digital addition). Enjoy!


Anonymous said...


Tarek Chemaly said...

Thanks. I wish I knew who it was though!