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Session R4921 (Material Politics in the Middle East), 2017
In my comments I will discuss the ways in which infrastructure planning and public service provision are part of the way in which various publics and notions of “community” and belonging are produced in Lebanon, based on my ethnographic study of a Beirut suburb. Even as people can and do continually reach beyond sectarian definitions of community, infrastructures can be used to differentiate and disconnect. I also raise the question: do moments of breakdown create new forms of vulnerability even as they create new opportunities for connection and conjoined action?