BNV 2013 Finals Round #1 - Denver
Isabel Elliott and Maddie Cramer



(via irynka)

Act of Freedom

It takes some time for freedom to stabilize, for it to become what we forever thought of it to be. 

And in the eternal quest of discovering who we are, in the realm of that freedom, we end up voicing out loud what we like and what we wish we can like, what sounds good and what makes us sound good.
We claim an identity that we wish to grow into.

The fear of this though is that we might end up deviating away from ourselves, conforming to the norm, living a widely desired lifestyle, taking the road highly traveled and dreaming in ways accepted by the world.

That freedom will die soon, it will perish, and we will forget that we could have been so much more.

And I think I want more.

You," he said, "are a terribly real thing in a terribly false world, and that, I believe, is why you are in so much pain.

We are so damned.

I don’t know what we have been injected with, from the days of our ancestors, but we have a damned nature, a damned internal structure, a damned humanity.

Even us, even the youth, the young and reckless, the tireless party goers whom, t
o some degree, I honestly thought, even more so hoped, would find a unified ground to stand on … even the dreamers have denied each other the dream. After all, we are the sons and daughters of our parents, and we happen to be just as damned.

Creamfields, whether it stays or it goes, the question at hand is not the party itself. It is the belief, the higher hope we are all trying to build together. And it breaks my heart to read blogposts written by the voices of our generation, blogposts written with hatred, not towards the situation, but each other. A protest is in order and some people are looking down on it. Yes, it is just a party and who cares? Well, somehow, ironically, we all do. This party meant stability was maybe still possible. Also it is definitely strange that everyone suddenly revolted when one party was canceled and they remain indifferent to many other happenings. 

But, how can this turn us all against each other?

Whatever we are all fighting for, fucking and screwing and bitching at each other. Yes great. We all definitely possess some of the filthiness we are trying to reject. And that is why we are damned, and forever will be.
Because we continuously fight the consequences, never the problem itself, we never dare to profoundly address the problematic and all the reasons that keep our country in the dark.

Why was the party canceled? Why? Give each other all the reasons, and you will realize that it is the same unified cause that we are all fighting for.

We are all furious. Angry. Damaged. And the worst of it all, we are all hopeless. But give each other a chance. Hear each other out. Answer every why, and watch your words come together instead of falling apart. 

We are all furious. The country, the government, the oppression, the Arab world, Obama, the USA, and every lie against humanity. We are all furious. We, at least, share that fury. And what are we doing with it? We are using it to fragment our country, we are using to fight more, we are using it to die more and more everyday.

Take a step back. We are all saying the same thing. Put your weapons down, take a look at each other - we are all similar-, and maybe hold hands for a change, and stand as one people against this frustration.

Love each other for once. 
Love each other, why dont we.
Let us give our lives a chance to be saved.
Let us love and be loved, let us be one with each other, let us believe in one other, let us rise above it all and show the world that they don’t have a say in this, let’s show them that we will not die on the battlefield.

And the world will be shamed if we, for a change, celebrate each other. 

See the way we are disputing over this party, this is what they want. 
They win, once again. And our humanity is lost, once again.

We are damned, can’t you see it. 
Our lives do not have value in this world.

Let love be, and maybe it will resurrect us.


New York City

We landed in New York on Monday 12th of August at around 3 pm and everything since then has been so overwhelming, so unreal and so raw. It is like the first jump off the plane, those few seconds they call free falling, where nothing makes sense, and your center of gravity is lost somewhere in the air, and things pass by you, things bigger than you, where you realize that you are a small creature falling in the big open space, those few seconds where you are unable to get in touch with your own sense of being because you are trying to collect yourself to hopefully land on the irresistible grounds you have been building from a distant land.

And ever since we landed, Dania, Romy and myself have been wondering where I am. I have been mostly quiet, taking things, recording them, saving them somewhere. I have been less articulate than usual, very little words (sometimes up to 7 words a day – according to little miss Bdeir), very little squeaks and screams, just silence. 

I don’t know why exactly, but having gone on a particular journey this year to be able to get here, I think I am scared. I am scared to admit it is real, because once it is, it might pass by too quickly. I am afraid of my words. I am afraid they will frame New York, outline it in a way. I am unable to touch this city because it is one that can’t be tamed.

When I turn my eyes to Beirut, they fall into place because we have the same nature, the same coarseness and the same bruises. But New York and I, we just met, my eyes have not found the hidden holes and the tender pieces to rest on, my eyes still look at it in awe, in lust, and in fear. If all love stories start with desire, then this is mine.

Feelings have been caught up with the rush of everything. A few days back, Romy and I went to a coffee shop to work, and the second I decided to just stop everything and write about this place, I felt a flood raid my hands, and I am not sure words can accurately convey how much of a physical feeling it was… too many things to write about, too many of the things I don’t understand yet, too many emotions, too many imaginings, and I am unable to level it with thought. I mostly feel like a 5 year old kid, where I see everything so big, so beautiful and so colorful, where life looks like a big game of hide and seek, and all the places are like houses made of little dreams and all the faces are little people looking for someone to play with. But sometimes I surface back to 24 and realize that this is equally a dream, a reality and an accomplishment.

Going to school to study the passion that my 11-year-old self discovered, the passion that the rest of me was never able to let go of. Being in the city that great people sing to, that people write poetry, books and scripts about, the city that people envision in their imagination, the city of dreams, the city of artists in the making, those who crave a struggle before success, a concrete jungle, they say, one that never sleeps.

I was walking by a big bookstore today, I was walking alone, maybe for the first time since I got here, and I stopped by to get lost in the most familiar, and one of the sections was called: Read New York. I briefly walked through it, only read titles and one-liners, and I realized how many people crave New York in words, how many people want to write about their own New York. 

For me, it is not fair to write New York, at least not yet.

But being here. Just New York, and just writing. This is my dream. One that I built with the help, compassion and love of many of you. One that was structured by building blocks with your names engraved on them. One that I will forever apprize and appreciate.

So now I am here. And I want to extend my deepest and strongest-I-have-ever-felt gratitude and love to Tala Mortada, Rasha Jamaleddine, Joe Baz, Naima Zein, Romy Saber, Nathalie Rashid, Jad Daoud, Jad Chahine, Zeina Halawi, Hind Hobeika, Dana Halabi, Zeina Mbarak, Rhea Aghniadis, Raghida Raad, Zena El Khalil, Tarek Aoun, Nour Zoghby, Caren Zgheib, Nicole Brown, Mirna Khairallah, Richard Pelgrim, Lara Mekhael, Bechir Gemayel, Nour Naboulsi, Abir Abdul Ahad, Aimee Raad, Steven Shbaklo, Nadim Abou Samra, Joyce Younes, Serge Wehbe, Ali Ibrahim, Nadia Benab, Firas Mghames, Jamil Armanazi, Iffat Saadeh, Lucien Salloum, Kerlo Aoun, Salim Kronfol, Miguele Issa, Elie Rizkallah, Miss M Leila, Sary Hamadeh, Stephanie Kassouf, Sarah Farhat, Sara El Ali, Hiba Kronfol, Aya Kayal, Biba El Merhebi, Leah Dunia, Rawane Jbara, Joanne Kubba, Leen Sadder, Adib Dada, Rasha Ismail, Joyce Bejani, Romy Raad, Joseph Daoud, Amine Attalah, Celine Chami, Ramzi Ibrahim, Mabelle Abi Ramia, Ralph Dagher, Nada Akl, Rawane Khalil, Ralph Dagher, Ibrahim Diab, Khurram Masood, Sima Chamma and Antoun Hajj.

To my spectacular parents who are my most beautiful inspiration, who made me with the tenderness of their hearts and the kindness in their eyes, to my golden brothers, who always give their all to make sure my life is secure, to the sister I never had –my brother’s love- who continuously strengthens and encourages me, to my aunts and uncles who believe in me, my craft and my dream, to my cousins who are brothers and sisters to me, one of whom is my new found muse, thank you all for being an indescribable support.

And to the incredible group of friends that I have, to the army, the frontline soldiers, the weaponry and the shields, you have joined in my battle and made it worthwhile. Thank you for your hearts.

It’s good to be here. It’s good and also very lucky to be here with Romy and Dania, they are my connection to Lebanon, the definition of home in the middle of big and busy city lights.

As for New York, it is a free fall, for now. 



and you invented me
and I invented you
and that’s why we don’t get along
Charles Bukowski

Alone at home

Sometimes, right in the middle of many tender faces, compassionate hands and loving hearts, you want it to get lonely because the silence that comes with the emptiness is the only thing that feels like home.

"The Type" by Sarah Kay

Everyone needs a place. It shouldn’t be inside of someone else.
-Richard Siken