Mapping Lives/Telling Stories: The Spatial Politics of Intergenerational Memory and Hope in Beirut


Marshall 490
845 N. Park Ave Room 490
Tucson , AZ


Fri, 04/22/2016 - 3:00pm to Tue, 05/24/2022 - 5:23pm


Join The School of Middle Eastern and North African Studies and CMES for our Spring 2016 Colloquium Series

David J. (Sandy) Marshall and Lynn Staeheli are a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow and Professor and Director of the School of Geography and Development (respectively)

In societies emerging from prolonged conflict and division, efforts to rebuild the physical infrastructure of damaged cities takes place in tandem with efforts to repair the social fabric of damaged lives and communities. Together these rebuilding efforts involve the creation of new ways of living and living together. Though often the purview of urban developers and post-conflict development experts, these processes are politically and emotionally fraught. Young people, who are typically the target of such social rebuilding efforts, may feel more like the recipients of a prefigured future rather than active participants shaping the direction of their country or city. Moreover, although they may be taught about the importance of dialogue, reconciliation, and unity, the everyday physical surroundings that young people inhabit may still bear the traces of violence and on-going division. How do people coming of age in a city scarred by war experience the city, and how do they make sense of the entangled temporalities of past violence and future hope embedded in an urban landscape? Moreover, how might people imagine and create new forms of belonging and ways of living in the city that strive toward alternative futures constructed in the present? In seeking to understand how young people and others make sense of these temporal urban entanglements and how they experience life in a post-conflict city, this presentation draws upon a community-based, inter-generational digital storytelling and mapping project conducted with young people in Beirut, Lebanon.

Dr. Marshall is a political and cultural geographer who completed his PhD in Geography at the University of Kentucky and his MA in Near Eastern Studies at the University of Arizona. His research focuses on memory, trauma and the everyday geographies of young people in the urban Middle East. For over a decade he has worked with Palestinian refugee youth in the West Bank. More recently, he has been mapping the lives and stories of young people from Lebanon and Bosnia-Herzegovina as part of a research project examining youth citizenship in divided societies.
Professor Staeheli is a Professor of Human Geography at Durham University and Director of the School of Geography and Development at the University of Arizona. She is the Principle Investigator on the YouCitizen research project. This project seeks to explore the meaning and experience of citizenship for young people in societies with histories of conflict and division, including Bosnia-Herzegovina, Lebanon, and South Africa.