Edition 2024




1 July - 29 September 2024

10.00 AM - 07.30 PM



I remember one day during the war when my mother shouted at me to run under the bombs and not look back. I grew up with the conviction that the catastrophe had already happened, until the day I found myself, thirty years later, propelled by a terrible explosion through the streets of my destroyed city.

BEIRUTOPIA is a visual essay formed from a biographical perspective, a premonition of the multidimensional—political, financial and social—crisis that Lebanon is experiencing. This solo show looks critically at the brutal transformation of post-war Beirut through seven works produced between 2000 and 2022.

In a macabre game of role reversal, the point of view of a maverick mingles with that of the photographer in the video The Sniper (2000). The rooms in the Abandoned Rooms series (2005) become those of my own memory, real or imagined. The implausible collages in Parallel Universes (2006) question the reality of images and the spectacle of violence. In Beirutopia (2010-2019), utopia and reality fuse into a single image. This series, which gives its name to the exhibition, denounces post-war reconstruction policies and the erasure of urban identity. In We promise, We deliver (2021), the ghost town is photographed during the Covid-19 pandemic, accentuating the sense of loss of spatio-temporal reference points and the blurring of boundaries between representation and reality. Created by the duo Jeanne et Moreau (with Lara Tabet), the View from Home (2020) series is inspired by stereoscopic views. Spatial distance is replaced by a rupture in time, before and after the explosion on August 4, 2020. The large, empty billboards of #crisisbillboard (2022) are mute witnesses to the country's economic collapse. The permanence of violence exacerbates a poetic vision of resilience that veils political responsibility for Lebanon's current collapse.

Randa Mirza

Publication : Beirutopia, Le Bec en l'air, 2024.

  • Institutional partners

    • République Française
    • Région Provence Alpes Côté d'Azur
    • Département des Bouches du Rhône
    • Arles
    • Le Centre des monuments nationaux est heureux de soutenir les Rencontres de la Photographie d’Arles en accueillant des expositions dans l’abbaye de Montmajour
  • Main partners

    • Fondation LUMA
    • BMW
    • SNCF
    • Kering
  • Media partners

    • Arte
    • Lci
    • Konbini
    • Le Point
    • Madame Figaro
    • France Culture