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For the first time in Libya, Scene introduces an interactive digital archive that recounts the memory of Tripoli's cultural past between 1900 - 1970.

 

Choose a trail to discover the lost world of theatre, cinema & live music.
Listen to two hours of Oral History, and experience a virtual reconstruction of destroyed and abandoned sites through immersive illustrations (VR), old photos and films, with a geographical reference.

 

Through its Trace project, Scene aims to raise the issue of culture locally today and highlight its importance in public life from the point of view of the local community. This contributes to understanding the social, economic and civilising roles of culture, to de-alienate it, and to develop our policies today with local precedents.
 

Culture can be a means to prosperity.

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DISCOVER

TRIPOLI

LIKE YOU'VE NEVER SEEN IT BEFORE

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11 documented locations

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30 documented locations

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12 documented locations

1900

1970

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narrative

immersive

oral history

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Between Now & Then │ On Personal Experience

By Rima Ibrahim 

"I am twenty seven years old, and I can count the times that I attended a cinema, theatre or live music in Tripoli on the fingers of one hand. Yet I will not deny that the emotions I felt in those times have been entrenched in me as a child, as a teenager and as a young woman and for the rest of my life. Despite the modesty of these experiences and the lack of luxury and splendour that I might find in other spaces outside of my country, what distinguished them is that they are very close, close to my heart, to my culture and my people.

Searching for aesthetics and art in the public spaces available to me as a young woman is getting increasingly difficult with the passage of life. Cinemas and theatres have disappeared, while very limited spaces remain for music concerts, whether traditional or contemporary; still, it remains either unwelcoming to me as a young woman looking to enjoy a public artistic event, or it is devoid of what I aspire to according to my modest artistic taste.

Which makes me wonder; will our experiences as an art-loving society – innately - be restricted within the memory of the hundreds of those who have lived in the time when anyone could simply live the experience of a live performance? Will my generation forever live without the invigorating experience of attending a Libyan music concert?

In a time when the public spaces available for society to appreciate the arts and to unite in observing them are shrinking, all that is left is to preserve what remains of our collective memory, our means of continuing our relationships with these arts, and to search for them again in our reality.

Scene's project is an opportunity that brings together those that appreciate cinema, theatre and live music to show our close relationship with it, and to retrieve it from our memories and our wishes into our lives again."

Traces  │  On Collective Experience

By Malak Eltaeb

"We come into this life hoping to leave a trace in order to be remembered one day. When in fact, we spend our lives leaving traces behind. Around alleys corners and on sidewalks. In classrooms and houses. We leave traces in once called homes and we leave them behind in the pursuit of a new home. Or maybe in the pursuit of a missing feeling. It is important to understand that the past is a network of traces linked together to tell a story. We follow those traces looking for answers to questions we form in the present hoping to make a better future.

 

Tripoli, a city full of traces, holds stories from a long and complicated, yet fascinating history. It has changed and still witnesses changes until this day. It has witnessed peace and war at the same time and it still stands still to tell stories to generations to come. People live in this city not realizing the depth of history and the profoundness of moments lived a long time ago. As one of the many consequences left by the former regime, the brutal process of ‘’the memory eradication’’, people lost sense of their cultural heritage. As a result, they normalized the idea of not having it again. As if it is automatically non-existent and cannot be brought back.

 

The cultural scene in Tripoli is considered a pure gem and it is a treasure deeply treasured by locals. However, the political authoritarianism in Libya post 1969 defined the reality for many generations. People lost the opportunity to experience the authentic cultural scene, especially in Tripoli, the capital. Muammar Gaddafi , the dictatorship, did not only change the political game but has tried to erase the beauty of this city. However, his attempts failed. Fortunately, you cannot erase history from people’s memories and lives because it will always be revisited and passed on. You will find bits and pieces of history in every home in Tripoli. In old family pictures and in the stories told by grandparents.

 

The impact of theatre, cinema, and music is beyond our understanding. People drive through its streets today surrounded by neglected and old buildings not knowing the stories they hold. Every wall, chair, and window witnessed legends playing plays in the theatre and playing musical instruments with the sounds of music tracing the trails of people outside in the streets. How many times have you walked downtown Tripoli imagining how life was in the prosperous past? How many times have you tried to imagine history and live it even in a dream? Now, as you are reading this question, you are remembering the traces and you shall connect the dots.

 

Following the revolution in 2011, it was not only a time that witnessed a political and unexpected shift in Libya. It is important to understand that the revolution was not only political but it was a social and artistic revolution. The Libyan society went through a transformation, to the core, experience. For the past 10 years, Libyans have revisited history through art and culture in Tripoli. With an attempt to relive the history lived by people back in time. The once taken away from them era whether they managed to live part of it to watch it slowly disappear or the ones born in the former regime’s era not knowing what happened before 1969. It was a crucial part in the revisiting experience to gain back what was once taken away from them, people’s identity, history, and art.

 

It is a question I had myself since the beginning of the revolution. It was a wake-up call that made me question everything around me. I was only 16 when the revolution started and I spent the past 10 years looking for answers. I remember the first time I laid my eyes on the Old City of Tripoli. My heart was racing and I felt like I opened a door to a once locked entrance to Libya’s history. I walked for the first time around the former French consulate, located in the French alley, filled with utter joy and imagined all the musicals once held and imagined the sounds of locals walking down the alleys with their traditional attire. I left it with more questions than ever before. It was the first trace I found which led me to more traces to connect."

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