I walk the streets of Geitawi daily. I see posters of unknown past candidates of local Makhtara elections fading to blue. The posters lasted more than they were supposed to. When I ask the people in the neighborhood about them, nobody seems to remember their names anymore. Whether the candidate won or lost, the street wall remains a wall of fame. His image might last long enough to make the face — or what is left of it — part of the public imagery that people know, but can't quite frame.

The residents of Beirut neighborhoods — among them Geitawi — keep a seat outside their shop on the sidewalks to relax and people watch or to keep a parking space for their customers and family members. Sitting outside is claiming the streets.

If the walls are for the candidates, the street is for the inhabitants. The seat is theirs. The view — of the street and its wall — is theirs.

The original route can be traced here.


  Roll your mouse over the map to see enlarged view. Use the up or down keys to zoom in and out.

This project was developed during the rePLACE Beirut workshop in April 2011.
The Blues Collection
Céline Khairallah