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Episode 01 — #TalkAboutBeirut         

Lena Pozdnyakova & Yara Feghali

Episode Transcript

#TalkAboutBeirut project

BONUS CONTENT: Castles in Beirut

The episode is an audio sequel to a collaborative awareness project #TalkAboutBeirut, organized by the international and interdisciplinary team of artists, architects and musicians in 2020. The project started as a response to Beirut's events in fall 2020 and expanded to unravel layers of history that preceded the explosion. The narrative within the project was driven by personal stories and artworks in various genres: new media, photography, poetry and sound works, collectively curated and organized into a tapestry of histories set in a virtual art exhibition. The aim of #TalkAboutBeirut is to address the collective experience in uncovering Beirut’s layers in order to find constructive ways for channelling the energy of hope and action that emerge in the shared space where people come together to remember and grieve.


#TalkAboutBeirut Curator, Contributor: Yara Feghali -  Lebanese architect based in LA, co-founder of Folly Feast Lab, and faculty at UCLA Architecture and Urban Design.

#TalkAboutBeirut Curator: Lena Pozdnyakova - artist and researcher based in LA, currently coordinates projects at xLAB Research Center UCLA.

#TalkAboutBeirut Curator: Masha Elakovic is an art producer, curator and director at Studio106LA space.

#TalkAboutBeirut Contributors: Viviane El Kmati - Lebanese creative technologist based in LA, and co-founder of Folly Feast Lab.

#TalkAboutBeirut Contributor: Bana Haffar – US-based sound artist and musician. Bana exhibited a text-based piece and sound work “Castles in Beirut.”

#TalkAboutBeirut Contributor: Tara Sakhi - Lebanese-Polish architect and photographer based in Venice and Beirut. As part of the show, Tara showed photography works that captured Beiut a few days after the explosion.

#TalkAboutBeirut Contributor: Roman Karrer is a graphic artist currently based in Lausanne (CH) who worked on the central map of Beirut.

#TalkAboutBeirut Contributor: Andre Zakhya is a media artist currently based in Los Angeles. As part of the show, he showed the game that employed Beirut as the main theme.

#TalkAboutBeirut Contributor: Gilbert Hage is a photographer, who lives, teaches and works in Lebanon.  As part of the show, Gilbert contributed photography to the “Before” part of the narrative.

#TalkAboutBeirut Podcast Contributor: Eldar Tagi - sound design, mixing and music for #TalkAboutBeirut podcast episode.


Hashim Sarkis,  “An Ode to Beirut | MIT Arab SciTech 2019,” MIT Arab Conference, June 22, 2019, conference recording, 02:03 to 3:43,

Fairuz, “Le Beirut,” Fairuz Topic, June 30, 2018, popular song, 00:00-00:23,

China Meiville, “The City & The City by China Mieville -- Border Crime,” Penguin Random House, May 4, 2009, interview with the writer 0:43 to 0:59; 1:16 to 1:29,

Theresa Breuer and Vanessa Schlesier, “Beirut's cultural decline | DW Documentary,” DW Documentary, Dec 12, 2020, report, 0:22 to 00:34; 4:24 to 4:45; 5:22 to 5:58.

Joseph Goldstein, “Merging Awareness and Expression,” Insight Hour Podcast, podcast audio, July 29, 2015, 58:25 to 59:01

Etel Adnan, “In the Heart of the Heart of Another Country” (San Francisco: City Lights Publishers, 2005), 1.

Amin Maalouf, “Origins” (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2008), 65.

Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Phenomenology of Perception, trans. Colin Smith (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1962), pp. 411-412.

Hashim Sarkis,  “An Ode to Beirut | MIT Arab SciTech 2019,” MIT Arab Conference, June 22, 2019, conference recording, 14:13 to 14:56,