Marking Beirut: A City Revealed Through its Graffiti
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In May 2008, with the political crisis in Lebanon unsolved for over 3 years, Lebanese political leaders, after having a reached an agreement in Doha, Qatar, ordered the removal of all political signs from the streets of Beirut in an attempt to ease tension. As a result, this book is now a rare document of an important era in Lebanese history. Marking Beirut – A City Revealed Through its Graffiti is a derivative of the “Project de Diplôme” of Tala Saleh completed in her graphic design studies at the American University of Beirut. As a Saudi student living in Lebanon, she called her initial research: “A visual reading of the city of Beirut through the stencils on her walls, an outsider’s view of an internal struggle”. Marking Beirut has 160 pages of analytical information, graphically, in writing, and in charts. The introduction is a very delicate and personal perception of the subject. 14 articles are written in a manner where there’s no direction or order, any of them could be read independently. There are also 8 sheets of stencils so readers could experience hands-on the use of stencils. The book is basically a bounded stack of 88 thick cards where every page could be the cover. Tala hopes that this book takes every reader on a journey through Beirut that is as overwhelming, striking, exhilarating, and eye opening as it was for her. For this reason, it was carefully designed to be as interactive as possible to enhance this “experience sharing”.