I never quite know what to say whenever I’m asked “So, what do you do in Beirut?”.
More often then I like to, I end up saying stupid stuff like “Ehhh… I’m an artist running a blog to become famous, sort of, to save the world and all, you know, being an actor and all”, which leaves me feeling all stupid and shallow and stuff, when I most of all would have liked to come off as interesting and intelligent as possible (assuming that I am having a conversation with a girl).
“So, what kind of art do you make?” is the following question, and we have a conversation going. “Well, I kind of make digital art, and carpets and stuff, from Turkey and all, but now I am becoming famous, as some sort of a performance art project, I think. You know… after I walked across Lebanon and… like, the usual stuff, really.”In reality, whenever I am in Norway, I work my ass off at a psychiatric hospital while making digital drawings. At the end of the day this is what brings food to the table. When I am in Lebanon I blog while I’m trying to motivate myself to continue drawing, though it doesn’t seem to work; I haven’t really made any art during the three years I have been living here.
Recently we redesigned 2famous.TV and our aim is to expand. This involved a lot of coding and technical shit that I just had to learn on the fly, which was totally annoying, but also very rewarding, as we now have a totally kick ass site! However, it meant that I haven’t had as much time to blog or tweet, which has left my fans wondering what the fuck I am up to, and if the rehab has totally gone to my head.
The answer is NO, I am still here, and I still work to provide entertainment to my followers, and I will continue to do so. In addition I’ve sort of become an editor now, I think, as we are inviting a few talented writers to join the 2famous.TV family. The first one out is Adrian. She’s from Miami, and she is a professional internet copywriter who has spent a couple of years in Beirut. (If you’d like to know how it is to be an expat in this city, she has pretty much nailed it in this article: The Beiruti Expat: A Process of Evolution.) The second one out is Lynn, a Twitter Star and our first Lebanese contributor.
As an editor I also get a lot more responsibility, and the least I can do is to offer a super slick and optimized-to-the-teeth platform that will generate a lot of readers. But how the fuck do you get a massive audience? I have been spamming my FaceBook friends to boredom since a long time ago, and Twitter is a bit of a hit-and-miss. But still, it somehow works!
The first blog post we made that went through the roof was about an Israeli Big Brother contestant who became famous because of his pro Palestinian agenda. The second missile from 2famous.TV was our Twitter List. That got heavy promotion from Haifa and Zaven ended up doing a 15-minute “Home at Matias’ and Jørgen’s place” reportage. We also made a little “Twitter News” video for TV. At that time we were on TOP of things, and we got WASTED every night being dazzled by our own fame and glory. Never before in my life have I felt closer to success! (Correction: I felt pretty awesome when I sold an art piece for top dollars in Miami a few years ago, not to mention all the (few) times when I got to score with a woman.)
But, regardless of the popularity of our blog posts, the ones that I am most proud of, are the ones we’ve done with Lina from one of the Palestinian refugee camps here in Beirut. In this series we volunteered every Saturday over a period of a few months and got to hang out with some awesome kids.
I am therefore extremely pleased to be able to continue to work with Lina, as she is expanding her project to help the children in Sabra.
At the end of the day, what I’ve learned from blogging for 10 months now is that we get way more hits when we don’t blog about ourselves! (Can you believe that!?!) So we thought “Hey! Let’s fucking blog about other things than ourselves then!” This opened for the possibility of inviting guest bloggers to join our team, and our new aim is to make 2famous.TV more into an uncensored cultural reference page with a few bold voices from the streets of Beirut.
So if you would like to write for us about fashion, art, parties, culture, or whatever, we are now recruiting contributors to build a solid team. In the meantime, I will do my best to write as often as I can, make as many videos as possible, and to keep the site super tight, continually optimizing it so that it will reach its deserved audience.