Feature// Paint Up!
Photo by Dihzahyners
Dihzahyners started out as an inspired, driven & passionate team of 12 friends in their early 20s, who attended the same university – the Lebanese American University of Beirut – most of them majoring in Graphic Design.
“We started off as a team of designers and artists of all ages, and came together to make Beirut a more colorful and brighter place to live in”, said one if the Dihzahyners about their first project, a flight of stairs in Beirut’s Sakiet el-Janzeer. Each of the 12 Dihzahyners chipped in and bought painting supplies and at 6:00 a.m. the next day they started painting.
After they have completed their first initiative in Sakiet El Janzier, they had only a team name, but wanted to give this great initiative a spark and name of its own! Thus the creation of “Paint Up!” : A series of Urban Initiatives by Dihzahyners.
“We began on the initial ideas/concepts and grew with this incredible, since that time we had been researching about ways to help out, through urban design, and intervening in the public spaces/locations in Beirut for a while” said a member of the Dihzahyners crew. They came to realize that painting particular places that need some freshening and brightening up would be great! In terms of Inspiration, they have always researched and shared visuals from around the world with one another of street art, graffiti, outdoor and urban design, and as designers are always inspired to try such things.
Photo by Nadim Karam
Dihzahyners aim at making a real difference in the landscape of Lebanon, and really change communities that people live in. “We thought because we were still a small group at the time, that we would start with Stairs, and possibly gain awareness for bigger events such as walls, and so on; starting with projects and having it grow into a real movement to help reshape the way Beirut looks, and how people feel when they are living in a more rejuvenated community!” said the Dihzahyners. They teamed up and proposed the first theme, and location of the first event, in Sakiet Janzier – the spark grew from there, and prompted more initiatives.
After the success of their Sakiet el-Janzeer project, the crew decided that it was time to do something they different. They ended up painting a piano pattern on a stairwell on Bliss Street in Hamra.
“Fifteen people showed up to help us paint the stairs in Bliss Street [next to the International College],” said the Dihzahyners, stressing on the duration of their work: seven hours. One month after their second venture, the team chose to take on a new and even bigger challenge: a mosaic pattern on old, broken-down stairs in Beirut’s Mar Mikhail neighborhood.
The artists involved are plenty, Dihzahyners team prefer not to go into individual names and identities, as they like to remain present to the public as a group and a team, that which is growing in number and each team member has its own importance in their special way.
As for future plans, one of the Dihzahyners said “We work on stairs for now but are moving on to more outdoor interventions in various other ways!”
We at HKZ are glad to feature such promising initiatives that could change the urban built environment one step at a time. Dihzahyners plan to move to villages, schools, and charities with a hope to spread the cheer and joy and love of color and paint to different locations and in different ways.