On Tuesday, a number of activists from the “Workers in Art and Culture” group boycotted the annual Beirut Chants Festival, protesting the inclusion of banker Antoun Sehnaoui’s name as one of the concert sponsors.
After pianist Abdel Rahman Al Bacha finished performing Chopin’s Ballade No.1, the activists raised banners that read: “This concert is supported by depositors’ money that was stolen by Anton Sehnaoui and others bankers like him,” denouncing the banking mafia’s attempt to whitewash its image with music.
Antoun Sehnaoui is a Lebanese banker and film producer. He is the chairman of the SGBL’s board group. SGBL is part of the international network of “Société Générale”, one of the largest European financial services groups.
One social media user wrote: “Thankful to the young men and women who demonstrated today against SGBL and Antoun Sehnaoui who’s sponsoring the Beirut chants festival.”
“A message to SGBL and the rest of the banks, you are thieves,” the social media user added.
Beirut Chants festival returned in December for its 13th edition. Similar to other cultural events around the world, organizers are working around the multiple challenges of 2020 to bring much-needed joy and festivity to an obviously exhausted nation.
The festival started on December 1st and is set to last until December 23rd.
No comment regarding the protests has been made by the organizers of the festival. Up until now, the festival is still set to continue operating normally.