Lebanese newspaper Annahar has a track record of leveraging creativity to make bold political statements. And this Valentine’s Day they released a special front page printed with ink mixed with real blood to make a statement about love, remembrance and resistance.
The Bloodline Edition depicts a cedar tree (a symbol of Lebanon that features on the national flag) growing out of an anatomically accurate heart. It draws a line between the assassination of prime minister Rafic Hariri, who was murdered on Valentine’s Day 2005, and current injustices, political strife and social breakdown.
Devised by agency Impact BBDO, the front page of the Bloodline Edition is the centrepiece of a movement urging Lebanese people to ‘End the Bleed’ and to pay tribute to those who fight for justice. People can add their voice to the chorus via an online platform too.
In a synopsis of the project, the creators say: “Lebanon is a bleeding country. Even our Valentine’s day is stained with blood as the brutal assassination of Prime Minister Rafic Hariri happened on that same date. But this will not stop us from expressing our love to our country even in the toughest of times.
“On Valentine’s day, Annahar issued the Bloodline Edition to send a message of love, remembrance and resistance. The ink used for printing the newspaper is mixed with samples of our true blood. This is a tribute to all the blood shed throughout our fight for justice and an opportunity to ask ourselves if we still love our country despite the current breakdown. It is also a crucial message of resistance: end the bleed.”
Annahar and Impact BBDO have collaborated in similarly bold statements before. In 2019, they won a Cannes Grand Prix for the Blank Edition, where the newspaper expressed its frustration with politicians by refusing to print any news, and in 2020 their campaign to change the Lebanese anthem to include women was one of only four campaigns worldwide to earn an Immortal Award.