Troublemaker, Liberator, Scapegoat; Spears In Lebanon 1941 - 44 I Tom Young I March 2018


Manage episode 204782754 series 1404911
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Major-General Sir Edward Spears was British Minister to the Levant from 1941-44, and played a vital role in Lebanese Independence in 1943. Inspired by six months painting, researching and exhibiting in Spears’s former residence in Beirut, artist, archivist and Beirut resident Tom Young pieces together a complex story full of risk, vanity, courage and contentious issues surrounding the imperial rivalry between Britain and France. Spears achieved what he claimed was his ‘mission’, but paid a high price in a geo-political struggle which was bigger than himself. As part of his presentation, Young will display images of his own painterly responses to the story, examine why it is still difficult for some people to discuss and present exclusive glimpses of a documentary film he is making about it. He will explore the little known connections between Britain and Lebanon, and explore the colourful cast of characters involved. These include Spears’s wife, the pioneering nurse, novelist and former Suffragette Mary Borden, the legendary Syrian singer Asmahan, and his tempestuous relationships with Churchill and Charles De Gaulle, both of whom fell out with Spears over Lebanon’s quest for independence.

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