SISKA at Subvision, Hamburg
98weeks Research Project was initiated in 2008 with Beirut Every Other Day, a series of workshops on Beirut's urban space.

A space that has been - and is still - subject to ongoing political conflicts but mostly a city whose development, construction and destruction, are unregulated and unpredictable.

Looking at the cityʼs urban space and its different practices can help understand the way the city operates trough its spatial politics; how do the city’s inhabitants live and appropriate the city? How is its history is still being written in the present? What are the spaces and stories that make for that history and what is the role of artistic practices in participating in the reading/ practices of the city?

Workshop I: The Ruin in the City
With Lara Almarcegui and Cecilia Anderson
22 - 28 September, 2008 

 Train Station, Mar Mkhael

The ruin in the city is lead by the Spanish artist Lara Almarcegui, who has extensively worked on urban topographies and their transformation. The workshop will be co-lead by Swedish curator Cecilia Andersson (WERK project) who has also worked on cities undergoing ‘urban regeneration’.

These workshop will approach specific sites such as the train station of Mar Mkhayel, The National Museum, the New Souk El Raouche among others. 

Participants: Giorgio Andreotta Calò (Italy), Nadim Asfar (Lebanon), Eduardo Balanza (Spain), Martin Clark (UK), Juliáno D’Angiolillo (Argentina), Davide Delia (Italy), Onno Dirker ( Netherlands), Charbel Haber (Lebanon), Rayya Haddad (Lebanon), Rima Kaddissi (Lebanon), Jana Jammal (Lebanon), Christophe Katrib (Lebanon), Marlena Kudlicka (Poland), Hatem Imam (Lebanon), Bechara Malkoun (Lebanon), Richard Mosse (Ireland), Franziska Pierwoss (Germany) and Siska (Lebanon) ,Tom Robinson (UK), Alicja Rogalska (Poland), Setareh Shahbazi (Germany/Iran), Alfred Tarazi (Lebanon), Karine Wehbe (Lebanon),Tarek Zaki (Egypt).

Workshop II: As Long as I am Walking
With Francis Alÿs and Cuauhtémoc Medina
11-17 December 2008

Led by Francis Alÿs and Cuauhtémoc Medina, the workshop “As long as I am walking…” will be looking at ways in which walking can provoke new entry points in the city and how it is circulated and experienced. Walking will be explored not simply as an action or a site for intervention, but as way of performing a narration in the city by encouraging its poetical explorations through the use of a story; a song, a myth, a legend, a story, a fable, a rhythm, an everyday task. Its aim is to think about the space of the poetical in a charged urban environment such as Beirut.

Participants: Elie Abou Samra; Rayya Badran; Elenea Balantoni; Marta Bogdanska; Lana Daher; Richard Kahwagi; Christophe Katrib; Nisrine Khodr; Franziska Pierwoss; Siska; Alfred Tarazi; Karine Wehbe; Laura Zeldenrust

17/18, 24/25 October 2009
31 October/1 November 2009
7/8 November 2009

Map of Mar Mkhael 
The third workshop of the series Beirut every other day, On Mar Mkhael, will focus on the history and recent development of the area of Mark Mkhael (Nahr) and will coincide with the opening of 98weeksʼ new project space located in the same area. Bordering what is considered Beirut City (Nahr border), Mar Mkhael presents an interesting geographic position and acts as a bridge between the central district and the more industrial suburbs of the city. Due to its strategic position, the area is currently undergoing a process of gentrification, which might reconfigure it sensitively.
As part of this transformation, 98weeks PS wants to approach Mar Mkayel through a collaborative research into the area’s recent history and present transformation.

Participants: Souad Abdallah, Jumana Abboud, Hisham Awad, Rayya Badran, Monika Halkort, Nathalie Harb, Hatem Imam, Samar Kanafani, Ali Kays, Bechara Malkoun, Franziska Pierwoss, Siska, Collin Whitaker, Sarah Yassine

4/6 & 11/13 March 2011

An artistic workshop exploring gender and sexuality in urban environments. With Lasse Lau, Mathias Kriger and Alexandre Paulikevitch, in collaboration with 98weeks 

Queer identities have often historically appeared in places of conflict and antagonism.  These queer communities struggle socially since they are increasingly segregated by a market place where the most vulnerable subjects are marginalized.

This workshop will collectively investigate social norms and codes in public space, and translate them into poetic and metaphoric artwork that will be published in a common book gathering Queer Geography experiences from the cities of Copenhagen, Tijuana and Beirut. 
Is there a logic to queer spaces? Spaces that are often determined as powerless structures, which exist parallel to the streets, parks, public toilets, and beaches, and from time-to-time, are appropriated socially into the realm of queer meanings (communities?)

The Marxist geographer David Harvey writes, “we need to become the architects of a different living and working environment and learn to bridge the micro-scale of the body and the macro-scale of global political economy.” We will investigate how this could be translated onto queer Beirut.

98WORKSHOP: “You Talking To Me?” 
With Bik Van der Pol 
12 - 18 October 2012

In this workshop, participants will travel by taxis, talk with drivers, record their conversations, and return with stories which will be disseminated by public radio during hours negotiated with a radio station. The taxi will be regarded as social place, as carrier and interface of public voice, knowledge/history, often across generations. By choosing the taxi, the project also subtly touches upon two major urban management issues in present-day Beirut: lack of public space (spaces of collectivity) and transportation.

A list of topics to be discussed during the taxi rides will form the backbone of the project. The space of 98 weeks will function as a hub where workshop participants and/or interested visitors/public can listen to the recordings, and where the construction of a large city map will be a central work in process. That map will connect the gathered insights and knowledge to places. During the workshop invited speakers will reflect on public space, mapping and the forming of collective memory.

Bik Van der Pol work collectively since 1995. They live and work in Rotterdam (the Netherlands). Bik Van der Pol explore the potential of art to produce and transmit knowledge. Their working method is based on co-operation and research methods activating situations to create platforms for various kinds of communicative activities. Recent solo shows and projects include Are you really sure a floor can’t also be a ceiling? ENEL Award 2010, MACRO museum, Rome(2010); It isn’t what it used to be and will never be again, CCA Glasgow (2009); I’ve got something in my eye, Marie Louise Hessel Museum/CCS Bard, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY (2008); Nomads in Residence/No.19, a mobile workspace for artists, Utrecht (2003, with Korteknie Stuhlmacher architects). See for more information on their work: www.bikvanderpol.net.

The workshop is supported by the Netherlands Embassy in Beirut