Private Cities Residency, Beirut 2018, London 2019


Private Cities is a proposed two-year residency project exploring the way that London and Beirut artists respond to and make work in their urban environments.

The project brings together a group of performance artists from the UK and Lebanon to explore together the political and artistic challenges involved in making performance in the city and the way in which these shared challenges are manifested and responded to in the different environments of Beirut and London. Through workshops, conversations, public talks, and practical exercises they will explore subjects including:
• state surveillance,
• the privatisation of urban public space and the impact this has on popular protest,
• the criminalisation of improvisation, spontaneity and play within the city,
• and the policing of marginalised bodies within public space.

This project will take the form of two short residencies, each lasting 4-5 days, taking place first in Beirut and then in London, hosted by Beirut’s Dictaphone Group and London-based Forest Fringe. The project will provide both groups of artists with a unique opportunity to learn from people who share the same challenges but in different social, artistic and political circumstances. Audience in both cities will have the opportunity to engage with the residency through public talks by invited speakers and a panel discussion involving the residency artists.

The eventual aim is that this project will help foster new collaborations between individual artists and lay the groundwork for a more substantial and public-facing collective project taking place across both cities 2019.
The first part of the residency will take place in 2018 in Beirut and be curated by Tania El Khoury and Andy Field.

The second part of the residency will take place in London in Spring 2019.

Dictaphone Group is a research and performance collective that creates live art events based on multidisciplinary study of space. It is a collaborative project initiated by live artist Tania El Khoury and architect/urbanist Abir Saksouk. Together along with various collaborators such as performance artist and producer Petra Serhal, they have been creating site specific performances informed by research in a variety of places like a cable car, a fisherman’s boat, and a discontinued bus. The aim of these projects is to question our relationship to the city, and redefine its public space.


Associated Artists


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