In retrospect, the timing of the talk, held on the eve of Lebanon’s wave of mass street protests, may seem comic.
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When the Forum for Memory and Future held its inaugural event at Beit Beirut Thursday last week, the organizers framed it as a question -- "Lebanon, more of the same?"Many protesters have voiced anger over how, almost 30 years since the end of the Civil War, the country is blighted by economic, political and social stagnation.Moderated by LBCI journalist Dima Sadek, the talk gathered writer and researcher Ahmad Baydoun and artist Nada Sehnaoui to discuss ways of reconciling the past with the present, in order to strive for a better future. Sehnaoui brought a less scholarly perspective to the discussion, suggesting a method for accepting the past, conversing through it and emerging with a healthier relationship to history. She went on to discuss several of her art projects that over the years have sought to generate conversation about the Civil War and illuminate Lebanon's collective amnesia concerning that conflict.The Forum for Memory and Future will hold further talks and events from November onward, the topics of which will be announced later.
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