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Press releases

Podium discussion

Sunday, April 27, 2003, 3 p.m.
Arab and German with translation
Free admission

The way in which urban architecture reflects contemporary history is the subject of the podium discussion Architecture and Memory: Beirut-Berlin. The Lebanese architect Bernard Khoury, the Beirut film director Ghassan Salhab, the Berliner photographic artist Stefanie Bürkle and the Berlin urban sociologist Hartmut Häussermann will discuss various tendencies and projects in Beirut and Berlin.
In Berlin there has been an increasing number of attempts to visualize the history of the city and the country in contemporary architecture, examples being the Holocaust Memorial and the Jewish Museum. By contrast, in Beirut there is a tendency to blend out the recent past – that is, the civil war – from the urban landscape. Bernard Khoury calls the city a “hyper-contemporary version of the capitalist city in a state of anarchy, a fantastic but terrifying product of Western influences gone out of control.” By way of combating this faceless architecture, the architect attempts to transform Lebanon’s recent history into contemporary club architecture. Some prominent examples are the nightclub B 018, on the grounds of a former camp for Palestinian dock workers, and the restaurants Centrale and Yabani, built on the line of demarcation between the hostile factions in the civil war.
The podium discussion will be held as part of the DisORIENTation project and to accompany the exhibit Bernard Khoury Architects, Lebanon / PLAN B - Projects in Beirut, which will open on Friday, April 25, 2003 at 6:30 p.m. in the gallery AEDES WEST (until June 29, 2003). After the podium discussion the House of World Cultures will show the films “Beyrouth Fantôme“ (6 p.m.) and „Terra Incognita“ (8 p.m.) by Ghassan Salhab, both of which also centre around the Lebanese capital.

For more information contact:
Petra Stegmann
Haus der Kulturen der Welt / House of World Cultures
John-Foster-Dulles-Allee 10
10557 Berlin
Telephone: ++49-30-397 87-291
Fax: ++49-30-397 87-159