On September 28, Beirut’s Saint Georges Bay hosted the launch celebration of Masha3 which is a people’s initiative to reclaim and create public spaces in Beirut. The launch party grouped supporters from across the arts; performers, musicians, DJs, illustrators and designers. maajoun was delighted to take part of this launch; we participated with a simple idea that was adapted to a poster and postcards, a 42″ animation and an interactive wall.
Strategically, the initiative chose to start campaigning around the backfilled Beiruti waterfront, notably the area in between the western port currently known as the Marina and the eastern port which is still under construction. Solidere Real Estate Development company aims to transform this area into a money-making business hub, while Masha3 argues that, by law, any backfilled area is and should remain public property.
When we first met with the Masha3 team who introduced their project to us, they brought up several number based facts that sounded quite shocking. One fact that we couldn’t get past was that 1m2 on the Marina was being rented out to Solidere (by the government) for 2500 LBP/year, i.e. no more than 2 USD!
So we tweeted a simple question: ‘what can you buy for 2500 LBP’? And collected the rather funny answers that we got into a poster which lists the many items you can buy for 2500 LBP; highlighting the absurdity of the current yearly rent price for 1m2 in the Marina. The idea was then adapted to a series of postcards and a little animation.
For the event itself, we also created an interactive wall where people could fill in the different items they can buy for 2500 LBP. The results (some of which are guaranteed to put a smile on your face) can be viewed in this flickr album.