Resilient Weeds 2016 - 2018 Marwa Arsanios

Pen on paper. Marwa Arsanios and mor charpentier gallery. Photo: Aad Hoogendoorn.

Since the 1990s, after the Lebanese Civil War, Beirut has undergone rapid urbanization and capitalization alongside littering and accumulation of waste. Arsanios' research explores the ecological repercussions following summer 2015 when the closure of the Naameh landfill south of Beirut caused thousands of tons of garbage to flood the city streets and Mount Lebanon with trash. Starting from this garbage crisis, the works address the threatening long-term transformations caused by capitalist and real-estate structures and their local manifestations in Lebanon’s environmental and sociopolitical reality.

This project includes a digital video and a suite of drawings made with pen and papers. The film 'Falling Is Not Collapsing, falling Is Extending' proceeds from the moment the building, where the artist grew up in Beirut, was demolished. It further moves towards looking at land reclamation created over garbage dumps and landfills that are then turned into the real-estate investment projects - thus extending a link between the materiality of the waste and real estate economy.

Whereas the drawings series of 'Resilient Weeds' depicts the flora and fauna surviving toxicity in locations where waste is dumped. These drawings function as a botanic archive and a mapping device for the different dumps in Beirut and as a forecast of future privatization.

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