OCAD University Open Research Repository

The Beirut Project

EL HELOU, Youssef (2024) The Beirut Project. Masters thesis, OCAD University.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: EL HELOU, Youssef

This thesis project addresses and challenges the narrative of conflict that has largely defined the city of Beirut for decades, and which has instilled a sense of ontological determinism among its residents, leaving them with no agency and no means to change their situation. The central inquiry of this thesis probes whether it is possible, by experiencing Beirut as unfamiliar, heterotopic, and multifocal, to disrupt the everlasting cycle of predicaments that shapes the citizens ‘understanding of themselves and the place where they live.

Adopting a geocritical approach inspired by Bertrand Westphal's Geocriticism: Real and Fictional Spaces, this paper engages with three key conceptual frameworks — spatiotemporality, transgressivity, and referentiality — laying the foundation for the construction of an imagined 'Other' Beirut that opposes, transposes, and disrupts the original.

The Research unfolds in the writing of The Beirut Manifesto, designed as the initial phase of a broader collaborative project, as well as an invitation for a community conversation about the relationship with Otherness and the mechanisms of spatial segregation. This thesis also includes the installation This is Beirut, presented on November 23rd, 2023, at OCAD’s Grad Gallery. The installation employs architectural representation and experimental animation as mediums to explore alternative ways of perceiving and experiencing the city.

Date: 8 May 2024
Divisions: Graduate Studies > Interdisciplinary Art, Media and Design
Date Deposited: 08 May 2024 17:47
Last Modified: 24 May 2024 14:08
URI: https://openresearch.ocadu.ca/id/eprint/4481

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