Discourses of communal threat, resistance and belonging are recurrent subjects in the posters displayed under this theme. In these posters, the representation of a 'we' versus 'they' polarity emerges. The identification and demarcation of a 'they' as the hostile enemy during warfare becomes essential in constituting and securing a consensual 'we'. The portrayal of the self versus the enemy is thus central to the constructions of collective imaginaries among the respective communities. The selection of posters reveals the internal antagonism between political communities as it unfolded through the different war phases and fronts. It also shows the communities' respective relations to regional threats, and conversely, of belonging to greater nationalist frameworks.
Against the symbols of a barbaric or faceless aggressor stands the image of a popular resistance. Posters as such transform the threatened community into the image of an active defiant one, heroically and righteously resisting the enemy. Yet each local camp's articulation of the symbols of hostility and communal struggle is at odds with the other's.
Imagining a community is also about the narratives that attach communities to places of belonging. Images of such places also serve as politically loaded symbolic sites. They secure collective identification to a place and mobilize a community to reclaim a threatened home/territory.
Organized into separate thematic keywords, this part represents the core of the exhibition. It displays posters according to recurrent subjects of communication across the different political factions and war phases: Belonging, Commemoration, Leadership and Martyrdom.
The exhibit reveals the weight each of these themes, and corresponding sub-themes, has held in the discursive frameworks of Lebanon's civil war. The thematic arrangement provides a comparative viewing of the signs and iconography across parties. It thus allows us to observe the antagonistic discourses and disparate visual representations around the same theme.