BeMa launches Mathaf/ Mathaf “Chou Hayda?” at the National Museum of Beirut An audio guide reflecting the imaginations of the people of Beirut

BEIRUT, May 21, 2018 – In the framework of the International Museum Day, organized by the International Council of Museums (ICOM) entitled, “Hyperconnected museums: New approaches, new publics,” BeMa (Beirut Museum of Art) presented the first commissioning workshop series of Mathaf Mathaf ,“Chou Hayda?” – an audio guide project led by Anabelle Daou at the National Museum of Beirut. The event was held in the presence of cultural, artistic, social, and media figures.

BeMa launched “Chou Hayda”’s workshop one year ago, in partnership with the Ministry of Culture and the General Directorate of Antiquities in Beirut, and in collaboration with the T.A.P (Temporary. Art. Platform).

People from different walks of life were invited to partake in a workshop at the Beirut National Museum where they were presented with an object. The participants were asked a series of questions prepared by the artist who recorded their answers and used them to create a video.

Taking the format of an educational video tool as a point of departure, this project starts a dialogue between the city’s inhabitants and its public collection of archived and historicized art objects and artifacts.

Commenting on this initiative, the founding member of Beirut Museum of Art – BeMA, Rita Nammour emphasized that, “Mathaf Mathaf/ Chou Hayda” is the result of joint efforts through which the residents of the capital expressed their hopes and aspirations, from the world of antiquities and sculptures. Additionally, the activities of the contemporary art initiative “Chou Hayda,” which embodied the concept of “BeMa” in promoting the decentralization of the arts, the importance of involving the local community in realistic art, and the fostering of coherence and harmony between art and its local environment.”

The event concluded with a discussion session, in which the organizers announced that the audio guide will be available at the National Museum of Beirut until December 30, 2018. Users can download this guide through the website, or via smart phones and laptops, or get it directly from the museum.

About BeMA:

One of the most significant developments for Lebanese art and culture in a generation, Beirut Museum of Art (BeMA), is a new museum set to launch in Beirut in 2020.

Envisioned as a cultural hub highlighting modern and contemporary art from Lebanon and the region, BeMA will encourage Lebanese artistic creation while fostering dialogue and cross-cultural collaborations.

In addition to housing an extensive collection of modern and contemporary art, the museum will create opportunities for the production of new works through artist residencies, commissions and cultural partnerships. Committed to nurturing a dynamic and creative civil society, it will also host cultural and educational programs.

An independent institution, BeMA will be a site for discourse, creativity, academic research, and public education, engaging local communities. Drawing inspiration from the city itself, the museum’s innovative design was developed by one of Lebanon’s leading architecture houses Hala Wardé / HW Architecture following an independently juried competitions. For more information about BeMA visit our website


TEMPORARY. ART. PLATFORM (T.A.P) is a curatorial platform that develops art projects relating to the public realm. It aims to shift art practice and discourse toward a complex contextual network of public interest and concerns. It is also concerned with legal and artistic research that stimulates more proactive attitudes toward curating art projects outside the art world, including private partners, municipalities and councils.

T.A.P supports and encourages art practices concerned with public space, urban and social design, architecture, as well as a contextual approach to curating. It intervenes in non-places, urban spaces and rural contexts, focusing on practices that forge innovative modes of production in response to their context. It participates in the creation of new networks that engage art in the public sphere.