24 Hours on Hamra Street
Multiscreen video installation by Lina Khatib
Private View: Thursday 27 September, 2018, 18:00 - 20:30
Exhibition Dates: 28th September - 5th October, 2018
24 Hours on Hamra Street is a new video installation by Lina Khatib in collaboration with the Damascus-based heavy metal band Maysaloon. The exhibition is a comment on the prevailing sense of routinisation through which conflicts, especially in the Middle East, are perceived.
Over twenty four continuous hours starting at 5am, the artist sat on the pavement of Beirut’s busiest street discreetly shooting, every hour, a few minutes of daily life. The restricted view of the quotidian pace of Hamra Street, recorded through a phone camera placed at ground level and exhibited in this installation, draws the audience’s gaze to a view of the world as seen by the numerous, mostly Syrian, refugees, children, beggars, and homeless people who, since 2011, have been driven by conflict to literally live on the street but whose presence has become so familiar on the streets of Beirut that they have been rendered invisible. The installation echoes the mundane yet tragic view of someone observing the days blurring into nights as if outside life itself.
The installation is accompanied by a short documentary by the band Maysaloon, chronicling their struggles and defiance of the Syrian war.
The exhibition opens on Thursday 27 September 2018 at 6:00pm with a panel discussion titled “Keep your eyes set on Syria”, featuring Laila Kiki, Director of The Syria Campaign, Fadi Hallisso, CEO of Basmeh and Zeitooneh, and Lina Khatib, chaired by writer and editor Malu Halasa, followed by a reception.
24 Hours on Hamra Street is presented in collaboration with Chatham House’s project Syria From Within (syria.chathamhouse.org).
Lina Khatib is a policy analyst, visual artist and heavy metal impresario. She is the head of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House) and a frequent commentator on Middle Eastern affairs in the media, with a special focus on the Syrian conflict. She has also written extensively on politics and visual culture, including the book Image Politics in the Middle East: The Role of the Visual in Political Struggle (IB Tauris, 2013), and her visual art, which comments on Middle East politics, has been shown at festivals and exhibitions internationally, including Quelle Révolution (2006) and Fallin’ Dictators (2012). She an Associate at the Imperial War Museums Institute for the Public Understanding of War and Conflict. She also works to support heavy metal music from unlikely places, especially from the Middle East.
Accompanying documentary by Maysaloon: facebook.com/maysaloon.band
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