Hakawati House of Arts and Culture
Multifunctional structure for art and culture
Before the appearance and the diffusion of cinemas and of mass media, the Hakawati was the main form of entertainment in Arabic-speaking countries and most notably in Lebanon. The Hakawati was a storyteller who thrilled his audience with a story. He was the spontaneous messenger moving throughout the city, a key-figure in stimulating social cohesion and in activating a public space for all.
The ongoing social and spatial fragmentation of Beirut (as a consequence of the civil war and the dislocating forces of urbanization), calls for a renewed Hakawati. The House of Arts and Culture recovers the role of the missing Hakawati and transforms the city into his stage. It is a dynamic, receptive and interactive hub for the celebration of culture on a local and international level. It is a multifunctional platform that breaks through the walls of a “white-box” institution and engages with the urban realm.
Ministry of Culture, Sultan of Oman
Eva Pfannes, Sylvain Hartenberg, Florian de Visser, Omaya Malaeb, Andre Chedid, Alice Grégoire
Cultural Producer: Lucia Babina (iStrike). Structure: ABT (Ronald Wenting). Sociologist: Prof Samir Khalaf - Beirut
Support from BKVB Fonds, NL