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THE PROJECT
Ongoing since 2003, Signs of Conflict is a project that involves collecting, archiving and studying the political posters that were produced by the various warring factions, political parties and movements during Lebanon's civil war. It is premised upon the idea that the posters unfold the narratives of the prevailing political conflicts while providing insights into modern Arab visual culture. Lebanon's civil war is a complex case where local socio-economic and sectarian struggles, linked with regional politics, characterized political discourses and distinguished the numerous warring factions. That, in turn, materialized in the production of an equally complex plethora of political posters, with diverse iconography and conflicting significations, as well as distinct aesthetic practices.

Since the end of the war, there has been a national endeavor to forget all traces of the war, or at least to remain indifferent to it. The project is located amongst current emerging efforts to reclaim and interrogate Lebanon's war-loaded memories. A violent past that has been officially buried by the politics of collective amnesia. It is also of particular significance to the recent history of political conflict in the Middle East. Being at the heart of that conflict, the war(s) in Lebanon have received, and continue to receive, considerable attention in international media and scholarship.

Furthermore, through its interdisciplinary lens on the poster as a historical document, cultural artifact and as the result of a creative endeavor, the project contributes to the intersection of knowledge in the areas of history, politics, culture and graphic design. By doing so, the project is committed to the development of an understanding of graphic design as a cultural practice engaged in the circulation of meanings that shape our modern social and political imaginaries.

This website wraps up the different outputs of the Signs of Conflict project, which include a poster ARCHIVE, related EXHIBITIONS and PUBLICATIONS, into a comprehensive online resource. It thus aims to provide continuity and wider accessibility to the project for a variety of interested audiences. It is also intended as a platform for discussion and debate on related issues including: visual culture and politics, media and political struggle, war and memory …etc. that could derive form this poster archive and from contemporary visual production in the Arab world.
CREDITS
Website concept, editor and art-director: Zeina Maasri

 

Web development: Koein, Lebanon

 

Assistant editor: Sarah Mallat

 

Web-archive poster cataloguing:
Ziad Bou Assi

 

Translations to Arabic: Dima Charif

 

Web-fonts used: Fedra Sans Screen and Fedra Arabic (Typotheque)

 

This website is produced with
the support of:

 

 

afac subline

 

 

HBF logo long

 

 

Signs of Conflict is a research project by Zeina Maasri. Research on this project was supported through a grant by The American University of Beirut (AUB).

 

The project is indebted to many people for their valuable contributions at different stages in its unfolding; from gifts to the poster archive to assistance in the making, not to forget all the friendly advice.