“If these buildings could talk, what would they say?”
That’s what Alessandra El Chanti wants to uncover in her upcoming project where she will try to untangle the history of four of Beirut’s lost monuments: Beit Beirut, The Egg, the Piccadilly Theater, and the Holiday Inn hotel.
Alessandra is a master’s student at Northwestern University in Illinois (USA), pursuing an MFA in Documentary Media.
“For my thesis, I am working on a documentary that revolves around four monumental buildings in Beirut that have been abandoned but hold great historical and emotional value to the country and its people,” she told The961.
“They have witnessed a lot of historical milestones in the country, before the civil war, and during the civil war, and now are left abandoned with all these stories that not everyone knows about (at least not the younger generations).”
Alessandra wants to bring the buildings to life by having each one be a character narrating its own story.
As a vital part of her project, she’s currently looking to interview people who have direct personal stories with these buildings.
“The whole idea is to just address the elephant in the room, or in the city in this case,” she said.
“We have these beautiful buildings that no one cares about today and it’s only a reflection of what the government cares about and, unfortunately, preserving monuments is not one of them,” she pointed out.