Blue Sky Books:

Mapping Utopia - Manal Abu-Shaheen

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Published by:
Chris Rauschenberg
Standard / 10.75" x 8.25"
58 pages Wire-O
Arab Spring, beirut, Billboards, protest, street photography, urban landscape

Mapping Utopia is a selection of landscape and street photographs from my ongoing series based in Beirut, where I was born. This series began with exploring advertising and urban construction, two of the driving forces of Beirut’s economy. A decade-long construction boom, aided by foreign investments and neoliberal interest, reshaped the city, rendering it almost unrecognizable. Alongside the development, I examine the monumental scale and congestion of advertising. Beirut is dominated by billboards purporting a mythologized western ideal that is incongruous in the post-conflict city. Mapping Utopia includes two groups of photographs. The first group was made in the summer of 2019, in the months leading up to the ongoing economic crisis and revolution. The second group of photographs was made in winter 2020 approximately 100 days after the uprising began.

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Blue Sky Books: Mapping Utopia - Manal Abu-Shaheen

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