Survival of the Kindest: Adrian Hartrick – A Place In-between
IT IS AMAZING WHAT KIND OF BEHAVIOUR YOU CAN FIND FROM PEOPLE IN THE WORST SITUATIONS[..]THAT’S WHAT PEOPLE NEED TO STAY HUMAN
This week Julian talks to Adrian Hartrick, documentary maker/ journalist, friend of former guest Waleed Nesayif, and resident in Lebanon for the last seven years.
Adrian’s thoughtful approach to journalism, his understanding of the politics and the history of the middle east, and his desire to understand the best of people as well as the worst makes for a fascinating discussion. He is honest about what he calls the ‘aggression of journalism’ and its obsession with the morbid over the truth, and the dilemmas that places the journalist in both morally and occasionally financially.
Adrian has travelled extensively in the Middle East; from his first journey there as a post-school adventurer saw him arrive into Syria on the day they withdrew from Lebanon in 2005. Now a fixture in Beirut he talks about the reality of the influx of refugees from Syria in recent history, and from Palestine before.
Throughout the conversation Adrian explains his understanding of the middle east, and his view of it as the intersection of East and West, where language, racism, and citizenship hold different meanings to how they are understood in the West. He cites Lebanon as the ‘country that has seen it all’ and elucidates its millennia old history to prove the point.
He sees this turbulent area of the world, which continues to struggle with the impact of colonialism and its aftershocks, as a place which, for westerners ‘breaks our conception of boundaries’. The fluidity of race, religion and language in this area has been the status quo for many hundreds of generations, and there is beauty and empathy throughout.