Practicing the Public

Mona Fawaz, Ahmad Gharbieh, Nadine Bekdache, Abir Saksouk - 2015
This collection of essays and maps digs beyond the apparent dichotomies between public and private spaces in an effort to understand what makes public space such a complex minefield in Lebanon. Despite their dominant condemnation, the publication starts with the premise that practices of the commons/publics are sustained in Lebanon. Through their analysis as complex systems of multiple publics rife with power relations but also progressive claims, harsh realities and multiple dreams and enactments of trespass, the publication puts forward a set of readings that not only shed light on the functioning of the city but also provides potential paths for intervening to improve the quality of the city's spaces. It builds on mappings and ethnographic accounts of more or less known sites in the city, laced together in narratives of resilience and coexistence.
The publication was edited by Mona Fawaz and Ahmad Gharbieh in partnership with Nadine Bekdache and Abir Saksouk-Sasso (from Public Works Studio). It was distributed in October 2015 with As-Safir paper.