Save

Beirut by Night

A Century of Nightlife Photography

In: Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication
Author:
Gregory Buchakjian University of Balamand, Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts, Lebanon contact@buchakjian.net

Search for other papers by Gregory Buchakjian in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
Download Citation Get Permissions

Access options

Get access to the full article by using one of the access options below.

Institutional Login

Log in with Open Athens, Shibboleth, or your institutional credentials

Login via Institution

Purchase

Buy instant access (PDF download and unlimited online access):

$40.00

Over the past century, Beirut has acquired a reputation as the nightlife destination of choice in the region. Photography was and remains a privileged witness of the proverbial ‘Beirut nights’. In this essay I trace the history of the genre of nightlife photography in Beirut over the past century, from the grand ball era of the Mandate period to informal underground nightlife during the civil war and its aftermath; to the rise of the nightlife image-making industry in the 1990s and 2000s. I pay particular attention to the ways in which technological developments interplayed with historical and social contingencies in Lebanon—such as the Lebanese civil war and the disintegration of barriers between private and public spheres in the age of social media. Recast as art, digital nightlife photography is responsible for the erosion of ‘vulgarity’ as a social category under the twin pressures of neoliberalism and technological development; it also plays a major role in the contemporary branding of Beirut on a global scale.

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 1091 212 13
Full Text Views 193 20 3
PDF Views & Downloads 124 44 9