HOME BEIRUT. SOUNDING THE NEIGHBORS

HOME BEIRUT. SOUNDING THE NEIGHBORSImage courtesy of MAXXI

HOME BEIRUT. SOUNDING THE NEIGHBORS
MAXXI, Rome
Until 20 May 2018

 

Cultural diversity, the memory of war, the effervescence of the present, the profound urban transformation, the prospects for the future: all these are Home Beirut. Sounding the Neighbors, the story of a city, a laboratory of resistance, artistic innovation and hope seen through over 100 works by 36 artists.

 

HOME BEIRUT. SOUNDING THE NEIGHBORSImage courtesy of MAXXI

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The exhibition, curated by Hou Hanru and Giulia Ferracci, is a new chapter of the Interactions across the Mediterranean which, after focussing on the contemporary art scene in Iran (2014–15) and Istanbul (2015–16) this time turns to Beirut, a dynamic city processing the past and acting as a laboratory for the future. Over the last two decades, Beirut has become an example of resilience, dynamism, cultural vivacity and hope of which contemporary art is both a testimony and a dynamo.

 

HOME BEIRUT. SOUNDING THE NEIGHBORSImage courtesy of MAXXI

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The very history and reality of the city always echoes and interacts with lively but conflictive events happening in the neigborhoods, near and afar. The city, rich in cultural, economic and political diversity, is constantly transformed through a negotiation with the globalising world. However, it is profoundly anchored in a collective obsession: how to deal with the idea of belonging, or, how to make this place a “home” for all, while everyone has a different sense of identity? Hence the title of the exhibition, Home Beirut. Sounding the Neighbors.

 

HOME BEIRUT. SOUNDING THE NEIGHBORSImage courtesy of MAXXI

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With an exhibition design that has visitors navigate the complexity of the city, the show is organized in four sections, each conceived as a “home” devoted to one aspect of the city’s kaleidoscopic artistic scene: memory (Home for Memory), hospitality (Home for Everyone?), local mapping (Home for Remapping) and joy (Home for Joy). Throughout the period of the exhibition, a rich programme of events will develop the themes: video and artist film screenings will alternate with performances, workshops and educational projects.

 

HOME BEIRUT. SOUNDING THE NEIGHBORSImage courtesy of MAXXI

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Home Beirut. Sounding the Neighbors sheds light on an extraordinary process of urban redevelopment and social rehabilitation, giving voice to the community of artists, musicians, publishers, designers and performers working to create a more promising future for the city. In opposition to the rise of neo-nationalist and populist ideologies, with its cultural vivacity Beirut is a beacon of hope in a stormy Mediterranean.

 

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