Visitors to the Experimental Theater which is also known as the Dome make sounds as soon as they walk in. Tripoli’s radically modernist dome, designed by Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer, still stands as a testament to an attempt to decentralize the country, and bring interest to the north of Lebanon.
Construction ceased at the beginning of Lebanon’s civil war in 1975, leaving the Niemeyer’s architecture as a series of striking, ghostly symbols across Tripoli’s skyline. This absent presence holds it suspended to an uncertain future.
While the original intention of Tripoli’s International Fair may never be realised, the skeleton architecture of The Dome is now an essential space for site-specific performances. You must only step inside its curved walls to experience unique acoustics revealing and amplifying new sounds.
The dome is endangered because no repairs or maintenance have been done to the structure. The objective is to take the dome and turn it into the cultural space it was first intended to be; harnessing the subcultures of the arts to raise awareness on the dangers that surrounds the fair. The Dome Sessions, appropriately, would bring artists to experiment within its walls.
If ever the dome happens to be bound to an uncertain future, the fact remains that, whether demolished or renovated, it will lose its current face. However, this face stands still as the bare witness to Lebanon’s history and situation, hence the paramount importance of capturing and reviving for all eternity the images of our experiences in film.
Country/Region Tripoli, Lebanon
Designer Firas El Hallak (LB)
Director/Producer: Firas El Hallak