Architecture of security during the 2015 #YouStink uprising in downtown Beirut, Lebanon
Lockdown is a reflection on the use of security disposable architecture by power entities during social conflicts and protests. The series take place during the You Stink protest that erupted in Downtown Beirut as a response to the government’s inability to solve the August 2015 trash crisis. Downtown Beirut, often referred also as SOLIDERE, is the former historic centre of the city, rebuilt with one of the world biggest private development project headed by the former Lebanon Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, killed in a car bomb attack in 2005. From the very beginning the process had risen plenty of critics due to his physical and psychological distance from the rest of the city, resulting in a “power and luxury island” detached from consolidated urban interactions and betraying the spirit of the ancient historical centre, saw as the meeting ground of the various social, religious and ethnics components of the Lebanese society. During rallies and protests erupted in August and September of 2015, this isolation logic became very tangible with the complete lockdown of the central area of Beirut, preventing peaceful protesters to reach the physical representation of the power they were protesting against.