Signs of Conflict: Political Posters of the Lebanese Civil War

Signs of Conflict: Political Posters of the Lebanese Civil War

by
Zeina Maasri
Furat Publishing House
Place of Publication: Beirut, Lebanon
Date of Publication: August 2010
Language of Publication: English and Arabic

From 1975 to 1990, different factions in Lebanon’s civil conflict flooded the streets with posters to mobilize their constituencies, undermine their enemies, and create public sympathy for their cause. This is how the military performance on the front lines and on demarcation lines was in junction with another kind of conflict rotating around the image and words and the symbolic claiming of territory and land.

This book is rich in its visual documentation, where Zeina Maasri draws a visual map on the history of the conflict in the country with its background through the display of the various posters that flooded its streets with meanings, contradictory ideologies and different aesthetic forms.

Maasri shows how the iconography of the posters changed over time, and links this to changing political identities and communities as the war progressed. She urges a radical rethink of the idea and function of political posters in civil war contexts, too often dismissed as mere ‘propaganda’, arguing instead that they should be seen as sites of symbolic struggle, every bit as fiercely contested as the streets they adorn.

Published by Zeina Maasri and Furat Publishing House with the support of Heinrich Böll Stiftung – Middle East Office

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