Beyroutes: A Guide to Beirut
As a supplement to Volume #22, we also present the separate publication Beyroutes, a guidebook to Beirut, one of the grand capitals of the Middle East. Beyroutes presents an exploded view of a city which lives so many double lives and figures in so many truths, myths and historical falsifications. Visiting the city with this intimate book as your guide makes you feel disoriented, appreciative, judgmental and perhaps eventually reconciliatory. Beyroutes is the field manual for 21st century urban explorer.
With contributions by Maureen Abi Ghanem, Romy Assouad, Hisham Awad, Cleo Campert, Joane Chaker, Tony Chakar, Zinab Chahine, Steve Eid, Christian Ernsten, Christiaan Fruneaux, Edwin Gardner, David Habchy, Mona Harb, Pascale Harès, Jasper Harlaar, Janneke Hulshof, Hanane Kaï, Karen Klink, Niels Lestrade, Mona Merhi, Elias Moubarak, Tarek Moukaddem, Kamal Mouzawak, Joe Mounzer, Alex Nysten, Nienke Nauta, Ahmad Osman, Haig Papazian, Pieter Paul Pothoven, Rani al Rajji, Joost Janmaat, Jan Rothuizen, Ruben Schrameijer, Reem Saouma, Michael Stanton and George Zouein.
Beyroutes was initiated by Studio Beirut in collaboration with Partizan Publik, Archis and the Pearl Foundation. Supported by Prince Claus Fund, Fund Working on the Quality of Living and the Netherlands Embassy in Lebanon.
Archis Never Walk Alonely Planet series – city guides with an eye for people.
As you may know our exhibition The Good Cause is currently on show at Stroom in The Hague. This spring Stroom will be hosting a side program accompanying The Good Cause, that consists of a number of tours, a congress, an Archis RSVP Event and a number of expeditions. Most of the events are free of charge.
Last month we officially launched Volume’s 39th issue, ‘Urban Border’. In the past weeks we have published a selection of articles, and for those who are interested how the issue looks and feels we have uploaded a preview. Enjoy! Click here to learn more about Volume #39.
Shenzhen is currently upgrading its industry; this results in empty factory buildings and huge demographic changes within the migrant population. It also implies a transition from a blue-collar to a white-collar society. Shenzhen’s economic success is based on cheap labor. Nonetheless, blue-collar migrants are considered to be both problematic and vulnerable. But do we really understand and appreciate the economic and social value of the current generation of migrants in Shenzhen? ‘Da Lang Fever’ is a story about the potential of a self-organizing migrant society in the neighborhood Da Lang. It showcases the empowering nature of bottom-up activities for migrant workers.
According to official statistics China’s urbanization rate was 52.57 percent in 2012, but according to China’s Hukou system this number nowadays is still below 35 percent! The discrepancy is caused by at least 250,000,000 peasants without urban Hukou status living in urban areas, the so-called floating population. Without urban Hukou they cannot equally benefit from urban amenities such as education, employment, medical care, retirement programs, affordable housing, and other basic public services. In fact these urban-based peasants are excluded from living a complete urban lifestyle. Although China sees it as its primary task “to civilize the whole nation by turning its agricultural population into orderly citizens”, urbanization seems mainly used as an engine to stimulate economic growth. An essential tool to guide urbanization is the process of converting rural Hukous into urban Hukous. However, this process is complex, and receives loads of critique, nationally and internationally. There seems to be no easy solution, especially since economic forces are overruling the people’s quality of life.
It’s rare that a city’s birth certificate survives, but here it is: a map of Hong Kong full of marks and notes. It is an intriguing document, but our attention should go to the upper left corner, where in the ‘white space’ of mainland China the Shekou peninsula is encircled as the new harbor and industrial location of what was to become the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone; conveniently situated and easy to control. The map with personal marks and handwritten notes makes history tangible. It all started with an idea and a location.