fieldwork

Hotelgeopolitics.com provides the public with a view onto the daily development of an urban war which determined the physical and social division of Lebanon’s capital city for almost two decades (1975-1990).

Ethnography was used to collect memories of people connected to Beirut’s former Holiday Inn hotel and the wider hotel area  (including former staff, residents and former combatants) before and during the war.

Fieldwork 1: 14-25 June 2011

  • Archive research into historical sources: local newspapers, magazines, tourist guides, planning agencies documents (mainly in Beirut’s Orient Institut library and through private collections).
  • Photography of field site
  • Pilot interviews with Holiday Inn former employees and manager
  • Translation and trascription of historic documents (May/August 2012, by Imad Aoun).

Fieldwork 2: 15-23 September 2012

  • Daily visits to field site
  • In-depth interviews with residents of the hotels neighbourhood
  • Photography of field site
  • Translation of interviews (Simona Loi)

The project also relies on a number of in-depth interviews conducted  in 2005 with militia former fighters from the two main fighting groups – Lebanese Front and National Movement. Finally, on archive research into the hotels’ battle in the American University of Beirut Archives and Special Collections.