Balconies onto Beirut: Spatiality in the Traveling City
Space is a site on and through which struggles for identity and power are enacted and the nature of those struggles is reflected in the way place is constituted. Place is interpreted by theorists like Henri Lefebvere and Edward Soja as the geo-mental constitution of space and embodied in the lived spaces of the everyday. This paper will consider the nature of place in Beirut by examining how place is constituted in the geography of the city and in the narrative and visual expressions of its creative output. Further, the paper will consider how Beirut functions as a mirror of other places and how other places are mirrored in Beirut by mapping a trajectory for Beirut as a traveling city. By exploring Beirut as a traveling city, the paper will explore how questions of migration and exile, in creating diasporic identities, also inform the constitution of place. In moving between the local and the global, and by extension the micro and macro view of the city, the paper hopes to maintain a tension between the intimate and the detached view of the city and to locate place in the movement between those spaces. This reading is made possible partially by the view from the balcony, as both a symbol and an actual place, in which meaning is created and place is constituted.
Keywords: Space, Place, Traveling City, Exile, Migration
Ms. Nour Dados
PhD Student, Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Technology Sydney