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.


Also Published In

The Journal of Politics and Society

More About This Work

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