Statehood & Participation

Throughout the countries of the Middle East, citizens view the state with suspicion. State institutions are often experienced as biased towards the powerful, corrupt and predatory, and as a sometimes violent means to safeguard the position of a ruling elite, or the domination of one part of the population over others.

Participation, on the other hand, is mostly reduced to elections of questionable representational value, or relies on informal channels and structures and primordial relations, and thus reinforces existing patterns of subordination and power.

The program Statehood & Participation supports initiatives that demand accountability and due process and encourage citizens to become aware, active and organized around issues of (gender-) democratic participation, freedom of expression and sustainable development.

Latest Article
DJ Set on barbed wire rooftop at dawn

Beirut's Underground Music Scene

Photo Documentation

I am the audience, archiving stories and memories of musicians in the scene to highlight to you the importance of acknowledging this cultural capital. I utilize a historical-political lens, to carefully delineate artists, community and the use of space within Beirut’s quick pace of change. Given the lack of research on the dialectic between music and crises in the region, this historical lens is applied to understand recent developments that begin from the October 2019 Revolution, extending through to the complete collapse of the economy and banking system, and the August 2020 explosion. The photos coupled with over twenty interviews aim to re-imagine and recreate our spaces and collective identity with values that extend far past appreciating certain genres. This project chooses to focus on the vibrant and creative forces which stand in constant dialogue with the worn and broken.


Indications of a Critical Electoral Process Path


The Lebanese Association for Democratic Elections -LADE and as part of its mission towards observing and monitoring the electoral process, spotted numerous indications of a critical political path that affects the electoral process.

Recent articles

Global Feminist Pitch: Feminism in Pictures

Bab El Hawa border crossing from Turkey to Syria in March 2006

The survivors of the devastating earthquakes in Turkey and Syria need support!

picture of the Lebanese Parliament building in downtown Beirut

Lebanese Parliamentary Elections 2022 – What should international observers know?

Lokman Slim, 2005, at the Hangar, the venue of Umam Documentation and Research Centre, Dahiyeh Beirut.

Statement on the Assassination of Lokman Slim

Kohl Vol. 6 No. 2 | Fall 2020 Cover Picture

The new Kohl issue is out | Resisting Ableism, Queering Desirability

Further Readings
Photo of the Holiday Inn Building in Beirut

Political Perspectives in Lebanon After the Thawra


The staunchest criticism of the sectarian political model came from the civil society. Lebanese citizens have called for the abolition of this regime for more than a decade. The topic became a rallying cry for all Lebanese during the 2015 "You Stink" movement and more recently during the 2019 revolution (thawra). 

Benita's Paper cover

“People like me, they have to bypass”

Research Paper

What does it mean to live in Lebanon without Lebanese citizenship even though your mother is Lebanese? Benita Kawalla pursues this question in her paper “People like me, they have to bypass- Lebanese young adults without citizenship”: The paper examines the situation of young adults, children of binational parents in which the Lebanese mother cannot transmit them her nationality because of the restrictive Lebanese nationality law. Using the concept of performative and affective citizenship, she claims that these young adults perform their Lebanese citizenship by political and social activism for a more inclusive citizenship law, by finding coping strategies to exercise basic human rights and by feeling Lebanese and stating their right to be legally Lebanese.

Kohl Vol.7 no.1 Cover Photo

Kohl | Vol. 7 No. 1 | Summer 2021


Our Partner kohl  is finally happy to announce the publication of their latest issue, Counter Archives, encompassing the works of more than 35 writers, researchers and illustrators. 

This issue started as “A Revolutionary Archive of 2020,” and acquired a life of its own. It took the shapes and contours of the writing circle Kohl called for in early 2021. The circle met virtually for eight Saturdays. Tearing through the realisms of lockdown, migration, COVID-19, and occupation, they created an oasis for them to grieve, breathe, be in solidarity with each other, and do community differently. 


INVISIBLE BORDERS - DOCUMENTARY FILM - Heinrich Böll Foundation Beirut - Middle East

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