Yom el Zifit | Beirut – Lebanon

Yom al Zifit

Despite public outcry, an incinerator was installed in the city. Residents were forcibly evicted and the area shutdown to a military protected zone. Its fumes spread like an omen causing respiratory crises, inflamed gallbladders, erectile dysfunction, and dirty laundry everywhere.

Riots ensued for a fortnight, but no one listened.

By summer, Beirut was completely swallowed by the venomous fog fueling many lungs and a few pockets…The burning activity was so intense, that the released ashes started to sediment on the shells of buildings and empty streets.

In the midst of glaring silence, a squeaking monocycle echoes in the distance…    

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“Yom el Zift” is an ongoing  series that merges photography and illustration to paint a farcical portrait of Beirut, as a dystopia in clumsy ruination…

The surreal dwellers of the city- often malformed, dejected, and sleep-deprived- are constantly at odds with their forbidding urban landscapes.

Nader Tabri’s illustrations often explore mental illness, irritable bowels, festering dairy produce, and unruly hairdos as structurally produced precarities in real and speculative worlds. The anthropomorphic life-forms in “Yom el Zift” portray traumas of different painterly variations, as they attempt to survive and understand the incongruent urban ecosystem they inhabit.

The photos in this series are an extension of Eleonora Gatto’s photographic work: “Where does the sky end?” which aims to investigate Beirut’s multilayered urbanism, and the underlying sociopolitical power-dynamics shaping it.  The images chosen here show vestiges of a city in perpetual gentrification, and a growing concrete landscape shaping and erasing heritages…

This project aims to foray into a visual representation of some of the unsettling affects the city produces and invites the viewers to probe their own in response.  As we conceive of fanciful residents and futures to spaces we know, do we only project our own emotive and mental states, or are places and structures inherently imbued in the ingredients for these emotions?  

The project was displayed during the I edition of the Beirut Image Festival 2019.

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