This Is Not Beirut (There Was and There Was Not)

Jayce Salloum

1994 | 00:47:30 | Lebanon / United States | English | Color | Stereo | 4:3 | Video

Collection: Single Titles

Tags: Autobiography, Expedition/Travel, Found Footage, History, Middle East, Post-colonialism

This Is Not Beirut is a personal project that examines the use and production of images and representations of Lebanon and Beirut, both in the West and in Lebanon itself. It also records Salloum’s interactions and experiences while working in Lebanon, focusing on this representational process by a Westernized, foreign-born Lebanese mediator with cultural connections to and baggage from both the West and Lebanon. Salloum situates the tape between genres, looking from the inside out at each and critically engaging the assumptions involved, and thus broken, as sites for the construction and discovery of identity. Salloum collected more than 200 hours of Hi-8, VHS, and found film material in Lebanon during 1992. The project tries to make sense of the material and its acquisition—sometimes directly and at other times addressing the attempt itself—to produce works that frame relationships, sites, subjects, and practical and conceptual issues.

French subtitled version available.

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