Mirene Arsanios’ writing has appeared in publications such as The Rumpus, Ink & Coda, Bidoun, Cura, and Enizagam, among others. She lives in Beirut, where she co-founded the research/project space, 98weeks, and edits Makhzin, a bilingual journal for cross-genre writing. She holds an MFA from Bard College.
Waddah Charara is a Lebanese writer, journalist, translator, and professor of sociology. He was actively engaged in politics and syndicate activism until he cut short his activities just prior to the outbreak of the Lebanese wars. Choosing to devote his time to writing, Charara has written on diverse subjects spanning Lebanese political and social issues, Islamic political movements, literature, poetry, and cinema. His published works include As-Səlm al-Ahli Al- BārƏd: Lubnān l-Mujtama‘ wad-Dawla 1964-67 (The Cold Civil Peace: Lebanon’s Society and State 1964-67, 1980); Dawlat Hizbullāh: Lubnān Mujtama‘an Islāmīyyan (The Hizbollah State: Lebanon as an Islamic Society, 1996); Ahwā’ Beyrūt wa Mesārihuhā (Love and Scenes of Beirut, 2008); the collection Tašrīq wa Taġrīb (Go East and Go West, 1989); and the recent books Tarjamat An-Nisa’ (Translating Women, 2014) and al-'Irāq mithālan wa Hannā Baţāţū dalīlan (Iraq as Case Study and Hanna Batatu as Mentor, 2014).
Carine Doumit teaches film editing and analysis, and works as a film editor. Carine obtained a BA in audio-visual studies from the Académie Libanaise des Beaux-Arts in 2005, followed by an MA in film research from Université Saint-Joseph in 2007, where she currently teaches. Since 2005, Carine has edited numerous creative feature documentaries and contributed to research and writing for independent films. She has produced several publications on cinema in the Arab World.
Jana Traboulsi is an illustrator and graphic artist. She teaches at the American University of Beirut and the Lebanese University. Her drawings and publications have been featured and exhibited locally and internationally.
The City Outside the Sentence fictionalizes moments of translation and momentary suspensions in which words, sentences, and writing itself become characters in a story. Pronunciation glitches, thwarted accents, and makeshift multilingualism are turned into narrative possibilities. Written between 2013 and 2015, these short stories portray the body as both producer and recipient of language.
Beirut’s new high-rise buildings weave the most recent panel of a giant curtain obstructing the view of the sea to one side, and of the mountains to the other. This panel connects to several others that have been emerging from scattered locations one after the other since the early 1970s and perhaps even the 1960s, and proliferating in tandem and as if in cahoots to erect a barricade between the city, its streets and residents, and its sea and coast. Resultantly, unless one happens to live in one of the buildings forming the curtain panels, one is no longer able to catch sight of the sea, even from a distance. Nor does it help if one’s building were located at the higher end of the hills that surround Beirut’s basin and overlook its narrow plain between the river’s mouth to the north and east (corresponding roughly to Gemmayzeh and Rmeil) or to the south and west, the fishing port, and the foot of the old lighthouse (stretching, at best, to Ramlet el Bayda). The blocking of the sea by two sequential curtains of tall buildings that spread throughout the folds of Beirut contradicts the inhabitants’ understanding of the city as well as denies and infringes on the vision of its implicit expansion. This blockade turns on Beirut’s’ environmental foundations as well as its relationship with the elements and landscape from which its theaters and rhythms arose. We felt that the strangest thing of all was when things happened perfectly naturally. -Rainer Maria Rilke
The Spared Ones is a sequence of potential images for a cinematic essay. The texts, both connected and disconnected, are derived from reality and beyond. Comprised of shared – often involuntarily so – anecdotes of worlds inhabited by stray dogs, dragons and other untamed monsters, The Spared Ones is an essay on fears. Its incompletion reveals the possible images of a film to come.
Still Lives is a series of drawings gathered in a book. They speak of the time spent after sharing lunches or dinners, around coffee, cigarettes and drinks, when leftovers remain on tables, conversations continue, and time is extended. These drawings document mundane situations, where the intimate often echoes the larger state of affairs.