Accepted Paper:

Archiving Photography in Lebanon : the case of the SOLIDERE and Beirut Central District  


Sophie Brones (Ecole nationale supérieure d'architecture de Versailles)

Paper short abstract:

The Beirut's reconstruction photographic archives produced by a private multinational real estate company involves international photographers and new cultural professional practises that deals with the effects of globalisation on power issues and the definition of local culture.

Paper long abstract:

This presentation deals with photographic archival practises in the Middle East from the experience of the Beirut's reconstruction photographic archives. This archive is produced by the private multinational real estate company SOLIDERE that develops Beirut city center since the end of the lebanese civil war (1991). The urban project, based on the demolition of almost 80% of the old urban fabric, sees in parallel the constitution of an important archive composed by thousands of photographies covering the transformation of the urban landscape. International and local photographers are involved, but also local and regional institutions that define a new cultural role for the real estate company. We will explain how though this archive SOLIDERE adopts global collecting practises, adressing identity and power issues, but also the status of materiality and document in this special context.

Panel P034
Cultural Professional Practice in the Age of Globalisation