In the context of Lebanon, the ironies of the civil war did not spare the 1990s reconstruction projects and policies. Across Beirut, the city where we live, forms would emerge with disregard to history and social context. We witnessed how decisions were made at upper levels to maintain development friendly and “clean” spaces in the city at the expense of the undesirable classes and their right to public spaces. These abrupt transformations have heightened our sensitivity to space. We quickly grew more aware of the mechanisms by which social relations, politics, economics, history, and legislation conflated in the creation of boundaries in the places that we inhabit.
Based on this understanding, Dictaphone Group produces multi-disciplinary research on space to inform and create live art pieces as a means to comment on and re-imagine these urban landscapes.
Bridging the fields of social scientific research and live art is our process and practice. We borrow tools from activism and audience interactivity, we create forms ranging from site-specific performances and city walks to videos, lectures and publications. We produce knowledge on space and build a collective memory with contested spaces in the city.