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MARI MEEN HALSØY has a Diploma from the National Academy of Fine Art, Oslo (NO), and a college candidate degree in tapestry from the Oslo University College, Faculty of Art, Design and Drama (NO). Mari works with a variety of forms of expression, such as photography, tapestry, performance, video, installation and scenography. Her works are often site specific. In addition to her own projects, she works with other artists and scholars in various interdisciplinary artistic constellations.

This blog presents the site specific and relational project WOUNDS in Beirut, Lebanon.


In her project WOUNDS, Mari Meen Halsøy uses tapestry to heal the wounds of war in the Beirut cityscape. WOUNDS is a site-specific and relational project that has been in continuous development since 2010. 

Lebanon´s capital, Beirut, has been marked by prolonged war and political unrest. For decades, bombed buildings with countless bullet holes have stood as monuments to the ravages. The Lebanese Civil War took place with varying intensity during the period of 1975 to 1990, during which alliances shifted rapidly and rather unpredictably. Though the 15-year Civil War ended in 1990, unrest has persisted, giving the city new wounds. Marks of violence and images of the devastated city´s wounds can be seen everywhere, conveying the stories and experiences of Beirut´s residents during and after the Civil War. Tapestries are made for the buildings’ wounds, blending almost invisibly into the cityscape. In contrast to the wreckage, Meen Halsøy engages the physical and mental pain and mends the buildings as if they were bodies. Her textiles convey human intimacy and compassion.

In a wider context, the Civil War in Syria makes this project even more relevant today. Tensions between various religious and political groups in Lebanon have increased as a result. Both the conflict and enormous number of Syrian refugees have had major political and economic consequences in Lebanon, leading to new divisions and armed tensions. Skirmishes have broken out in conflict-affected areas, and dozens of civilians have been killed and several hundreds injured in multiple suicide attacks. The violent history continues to repeat itself.

WOUNDS focuses on the long-term, negative consequences of conflicts that lead to war. At the same time, the tapestries express human endurance and the will to go forward. Powerlessness is replaced by painstaking rebuilding.