Humanitarian organisations in Lebanon often talk about “survival sex” among refugee populations – for example, sex as a form of payment to people smugglers.
In the course of our research, we heard that landlords and employers are commonly coercing refugee women into providing “sexual favours” in return for rent, food and/or employment for themselves and their families.
He was to leave Beirut by December 1944 – albeit under the false story that he was only returning to care for his British parliamentary constituency. “Mr Kabbani said he objected to my portraits on several levels,” Young says. Because what happened in this building was historically important.“You did not take my advice to try to keep your Francophobia within reasonable bounds … you will be given the opportunity of asking to be relieved instead of being abruptly superseded. He could be an aggressive man who made enemies easily.Cooper had written of him years before that “if he had the word ‘SHIT’ written on his forehead with letters of fire it wouldn’t be more apparent than it is now…” Fired by Churchill, he returned to Britain only to lose his parliamentary seat at the next election.But as a social institution, we are not involved in politics. But he videotaped the whole re-repainting so that future art lovers – or historians – can see how he originally envisaged the exhibition.On the tape, Spears’ rather noble face is slowly covered with paint and ends up as a bright yellow flower. For he was, in many ways, the key to Lebanon’s independence, standing up to de Gaulle and insisting that the French leave the country as they had promised.And now Tom Young has turned him into a flower to get him a place on the wall of an exhibition.