Open Studio – “The Square”
July 29, 2013
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On Sunday 18 May, 2013, Portal 9 hosted an open studio in its offices at Nejmeh Square in Downtown Beirut, offering an in-depth preview of the second issue, “The Square.” Drawing a diverse crowd of artists, students, writers, academics, architects, urban planners, and designers, visual material displayed across the office spaces inspired a lively discussion about the new issue.


Editor-in-Chief Fadi Tofeili presented the issue’s theme, its selection of contributors, editorial process, and aesthetic choices. “The Square” features a novelist’s memory of public space in Aleppo besieged by violence; the battle for Belgrade’s streets under Miloševi?; bidonvilles in Moroccan fiction; the first public square in Japan; Martyrs Square in Algiers; Oscar Niemeyer’s Brasília; Abdulrahman Makhlouf’s plans for Abu Dhabi, the history of Midan al Tahrir; and a waning square in southern Lebanon, among many other subjects.


Contributor Saba Inaab discussed the conception and production of her illustrated sketchbook Disco, which was printed as an insert for the issue. Present also were art students from Sada, in Baghdad, who were in Beirut for a week of site visits and workshops.

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Portal 9 welcomes new writing in Arabic and English. We publish fiction, essays, reportage, criticism, conversations, academic articles, and visual essays, and we focus on the Middle East. We seek contributions from emerging writers, graduate students, and seasoned authors. Visit our submissions page for more information.
Photographs by Mario Razzouk.
Photographs by Mario Razzouk.
Photographs by Mario Razzouk.
Photographs by Mario Razzouk.
Photographs by Mario Razzouk.
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