Overlooking the Mediterranean Sea from atop the hillside citadel of Qala’at Sanjil, it’s possible to watch as flights of pigeons glide and dance on playful coastal winds above the sprawling medieval architectures of Tripoli in northern Lebanon. Although now generally regarded as public nuisance or unwelcome pest, the widespread presence of feral pigeons in urban spaces provides an appropriate lens for exploring localised narratives of the ‘banal’, the ‘everyday’, and their relationship with place, culture and urban communities.
This series examines the ambiguous beauty of an ostensibly undesirable creature, and the fascinatingly complex formations of a seemingly mundane group of birds in flight. While at first glance the images offer a snapshot of our natural world, the birds’ movements are invariably linked to the geographies of the city below, along with the rich histories of avian domestication, selective breeding, and urban development over time. Interpretations arising from tensions between the ‘natural’ and the ‘artificial’ thus offer contrasting narratives of the ordinary and the sublime, manifesting here as a loose thread in the fabric of everyday urban life in Tripoli.