The Multiple Lives of Images

A Symposium on Archival Practices

Beirut, 20-22 January 2023

The recent focus of festivals, exhibitions, platforms, and publications on film archives is a testament to the necessity of safeguarding these artifacts. With all the work that was put into developing archival practices so that the elements are gathered, cataloged, conserved, and made accessible, we are still confronted with questions on ways to research, activate, and give agency to these archives so that they remain alive and contemporary. Archiving also comes with the responsibility to care for the preserved films and find those who will foster their ability to change and affect us. How do we find the resources to train these individuals? And, more importantly, how do we create opportunities to preserve these skills and transmit them?

Metropolis Cinema Association launched its Cinematheque Beirut project in 2018 and has since completed laying its groundwork. It is within this framework, and with questions on the next steps, that Metropolis organized "The Multiple Lives of Images" a symposium that brought together in Beirut individuals and institutions working with various film and image archives to exchange on our respective practices and collectively draw a roadmap for future projects and collaborations. The symposium's proceedings will be published online in both English and Arabic.

In parallel to the symposium, Metropolis organized in the framework of the cinematheque Beirut project the first edition of "The Second Encounter", a festival dedicated to the history of cinema, showcasing classics, restored films, and films that re-use archival material that took place in Beirut from the 20th until the 26th of January 2023. The festival featured a special focus on the work of Jocelyne Saab, French-Lebanese war reporter, filmmaker and visual artist. 12 documentaries made by the filmmaker during the period of the Lebanese civil war (1974-1982) were recently restored by the Jocelyne Saab Association. These restorations were made over the past four years by a network of newly trained film restorers and were shown in Lebanon for the first time. The festival also included screenings of films by Youssef Chahine, Mostafa Derkaoui and Ali Essafi as well as talks and presentations.

Nour Ouayda
Deputy Director & Cinematheque Beirut Project Manager
Metropolis Cinema Association

The full programme of this event can be downloaded HERE.