Movie censorship in Lebanon is archaic and random. Most importantly, there is really no visibility and awareness on these practices or a direct authority that claims responsibility. In an effort to better visualise the problem, the Ministry of Censorship was created emulating a dark-age like authority in modern times. I researched 20+ movies that were banned in the last 5 years and compiled them in an ‘official’ database of banned movies. The list was based on news archives, private local movie distributors logs and movie theatre personnel and staff. The database also provides the reason of the ban and the authority calling for it. To tackle the visibility problem, a visual code for each kind of censorship was created to help the audience identify the issue. A lot of money is spent on movie marketing in Lebanon, consequently the ministry will use already existing platforms and mediums like in-theatre posters and trailers to advertise the banned movies. Hopefully with the increased visibility of censorship and the clearer basis of its reasons, the Ministry will become a catalyst to start the debate on freedom in art.
Posters in the streets of Beirut, June 2018