This report from Beirut presents the topic of tangible and intangible borders-in-flux, which underlie the complexities of social space in modern Beirut Central District (BCD), on account of top-down planning after the civil war and the accumulation of the latest disruptive events, peaked by the port-blast on August 4th. Along with Lefebvre's triad (1974) —the people-less and conceptualized space of 'conceived' dimensions, the navigation of spatial practices or 'perceived space', and the signs and symbols of 'lived space'— it points out the changes in the urban fabric and linked contemporary borders. After introducing BCD, I will focus on Martyrs' Square due to its unique position in Beirut's former demarcation line, the main venue for political protests, and impacted area after the blast.
In a nutshell, the measures taken to stem the Covid-19 disease consist basically in the drawing of new and the thickening of existing borders. The strategy of bordering practices, as Norbert Cyrus & Peter Ulrich summarize these interventions against the spread of the Corona virus, was pursued first time in Wuhan, China: The right to leave and enter the city area had been restricted and movements across city borders became the subject of surveillance. Also, within the city area, the citizens’ freedom of movement was strictly restricted by imposing a curfew. Moreover, access to stores and working places was only allowed under certain restrictions.