The work

Enter a world turned upside down by conflict in this layered garden-city landscape created by Jocelyne Saab, designed by Laurence Rasse, garden landscaper. In the thousands of years since its founding, Beirut has been destroyed seven time by earthquakes. Over the last thirty years it has been destroyed seven times by an infernal cycle of wars. Using images taken from her life experiences in Beirut from 1975 to 2006, Saab journeys you through a cycle of destruction and renewal.

Saab's images are experienced in an installation in the form of a garden. The arabic word «  jannat » (in english "garden", in french "jardin") has its root in the word jann, or djinn as it is romanised in English and French. The garden, representation of a paradise lost, is also the realm of the djinn, or genies, beings situated between men and angels, taking on different forms, usually malevolent.


Jocelyne Saab says

« In the 1990s, a developer cleared areas of central Beirut in a large-scale reconstruction project. The bulldozers shifted the ruins of war, and archaeologists opened the entrails of the city. The inhabitants of the city were able to walk along the Phoenician, the Greek and the Roman streets, before they were buried again under asphalt and concrete. I do with STRANGE GAMES AND BRIDGES what archaeologists did with the city of Beirut, allowing a passage through layers of experience, creating a garden in suspension. »