#IAS_NUQ Virtual Event Series: Zeina Maasri, Cosmopolitan Radicalism: The Visual Politics of Beirut's Global Sixties

January 21, 2023

Joining the #IAS_NUQ Virtual Event Series, Zeina Maasri, senior lecturer in global visual culture at the University of Bristol, examined the changing landscape of visual culture in 1960s Beirut and how it relates to the shifting local, regional, and global dynamics animating post-colonial Lebanon. In her talk, Maasri drew on archival printed media capturing Beirut as a space for transnational encounters and political contestation to challenge historical narratives marking that period and its legacies as exceptional.

About the book*:
Exploring the intersections of visual culture, design and politics in Beirut from the late 1950s to the mid-1970s, this compelling interdisciplinary study critically examines a global conjuncture in Lebanon's history, marked by anticolonial struggle and complicated by a Cold War order.
Against a celebratory reminiscence of the 'golden years', Beirut's long 1960s is conceived of as a liminal juncture, an anxious time and space when the city held out promises at once politically radical and radically cosmopolitan.
Zeina Maasri examines the transnational circuits that animated Arab modernist pursuits, shedding light on key cultural transformations that saw Beirut develop as a Mediterranean site of tourism and leisure, a nexus between modern art and pan-Arab publishing and, through the rise of the Palestinian Resistance, a node in revolutionary anti-imperialism. Drawing on uncharted archives of printed media this book expands the scope of historical analysis of the postcolonial Arab East.
The book talk with Maasri is part of The Institute for Advanced Study in the Global South’s #IAS_NUQ Virtual Event series. For upcoming events and talks by #IAS_NUQ, click here.
*Book description by Cambridge University Press