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Living and Imagining City Spaces: The Case of Beirut

Khalil Harb, Mohamad

In Beirut, space is not a static entity, it is both imagined and lived. This research provides a spatial analysis of Beirut and a class-based reinterpretation of space. In it, I identify two main groups that have two modes of operation in terms of city-spaces, the ‘Urbanistas’ and ‘the Biartis.’ The Urbanistas are an upper class-group that imagines a worldly Beirut part of a global order of capitalist cities, presenting this imaginare to a media audience. They reshape and command a limited enclave of the city with their focal point being the downtown and animate their lives in these spaces to ensure they are a reflection of the imaginaire. The Biartis are a lower-income group that lives Beirut in a diverse spatial sense. They reproduce and perform a spatial life that is detached from the image, from the branding and from the globalist order. Their lived experience of BeIrut becomes a form of counter-hegemonic bloc against the Urbanista imaginaire.

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Title
The Journal of Politics and Society

More About This Work

Academic Units
Helvidius Group
Publisher
Helvidius Group of Columbia University
Published Here
August 10, 2015