By trying to understand the historical urban development of Jounieh city, we found ourselves searching for a place that distanced itself from its history and disregarded its natural constituents. Jounieh witnessed a process of abrupt urban and social changes that transformed it from an urban cluster with an intimate relationship to the coast, into fragmented parts that turned their back to the sea and a highway that created a rupture in the core of the city.
We were unable to understand Jounieh and why it urbanized so quickly and why did it become a “city” without understanding what was happening in Beirut. The civil war in Beirut and the division of the city triggered the development of an urban center which can act as the “Christian” capital.
Bit Téléférique was our first site specific performance that took the public on a “touristic” trip inside the Jounieh cable cart. Through interactions with audience members, the journey uncovered narratives that aimed at looking, from high above, at Jounieh with a critical eye. When faced with a traumatic situation, some people are able to get out of their own bodies and watch themselves from above as a way of distancing themselves from the trauma. Building on this idea, we invited the audience to get out of the city and observe it with us from the top of the mountain. Perhaps by being able to re-imagine the city, we will be able to survive it.
Site specific Performance
Téléférique ride from Jounieh to Harrisa, Lebanon 2010
Written and performed by Tania El Khoury
Urban research and Mapping: Abir Saksouk
Production and Assistant Director: Petra Serhal
Art Director: Petra Abousleiman
Sound Design: Ramzi Madi
Poster Design: Houssam Abdel Khalek
Production Grant by YATF