Beirut naked city
by Ieva Saudargaité Douaihi
Beirut is thousands of years old. Its history leaks from its walls, breathes out of its soil, and is dissolved in the chaos of everyday life. The city still has beautiful remains regularly erased by the negligence of some and the real estate rampant appetite of others.
Ieva Saudargaité Douaihi, a Beiruti born in Lithuania, showcases a silent exploration of her city and its different corners. She dives into the intimacy of this constantly mutating urban body, explores its fertile interior, unearths its buried memory, discovers its hidden gardens, finds improbable apertures and surprising perspectives. The Beirut in Ieva Saudargaité Douaihi’s eyes is the incarnation, raw and bare, of a city divided, hated, raped, ransacked, sometimes on its knees, always alive, loved, valiant and inventive. After 15 years of civil war and almost 30 years of "reconstruction" and urban mutation, the capital, like the rest of Lebanon, is plunged into a deep crisis. The economy has been at a standstill since October 2019. Demonstrations against the government have given way to the void and silence imposed by the pandemic. The double explosion at the port of Beirut on August 4, 2020 opened a new wound on this large martyrized body. A body that is still there, unvarnished and without shame.
Words by Dominique Eddé, Jad Tabet and Alexandre Medawar