Collaborators: One Hand puppet; BuLaban circus; artist Rami Chahine
Beirut’s public stairs project aimed to rehabilitate and enhance the social activities on the stairs of St Nicholas, Vendome and Laziza in the neighbourhoods of Mar Mikhael and Gemmayzeh, Beirut.
To activate our recently completed public space interventions on the public stairs in Beirut, we implemented four community activities. The aim of these activities is to enhance the community’s sense of belonging to the space and create opportunities for community building.
The first two activities were a puppet show by One Hand Puppet and a planting activity on Vendome stairs. Both activities focused on the theme of a clean environment and care for space, towards a public space for everyone to enjoy. The third activity was a participatory mural implemented on Laziza stairs, for which invited youth and residents to experience the public space together from different perspectives and then paint the walls along the stairs.
We concluded with the fourth activity, an interactive street parade with BuLaban circus that started on Vendome stairs where various performances and music attracted a beautiful and diverse audience, who then walked together to the Laziza stairs spreading music, joy and opportunities for expression along the streets of Mar Mikhael neighbourhood.
The activities engaged children and youth who participated in the participatory design workshops that informed the design of these interventions, residents and business owners along the stairs. It was wonderful to continue this important collaboration with children and youth who continue to play a crucial role in this project, and with residents and business owners along the stairs who are key players in the future management of these shared public spaces.
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