Photo courtesy of Ifpo
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"Paper Identities," an exhibition now up at Beit Beirut, is a philosophical exploration of notions of identity. Organized by the French Institute of the Near East (IFPO) and St. Joseph University's Political Science Institute, the show seeks to reflect upon Lebanese identity. While preparing "Paper Identities," De Vaulx collaborated with four Lebanese researchers, including USJ political science professor Wissam Lahham.The second room examines identity produced through the state's administrative papers, sampling pieces from Lahham's archive.With the advent of usernames, identity is not only being used to recognize and classify people.To illustrate the artificiality of identity, one 1919 text, naming the people of Beirut as "Syrians," underlines how the development of Lebanese national identity proceeded from the distribution of new identity papers with the drawing of new borders.Lahham has been disappointed to see few Lebanese have attended the exhibition, compared to the number of foreigners.
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