Beyond Negotiable Terms: Depositor’s rights in confronting banks

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September 28, 2022 6:30 pm

Closing tour of Fine Print + Talk by Fouad Debs (member of the Depositors Union)

As the closing event to our group exhibition Fine Print, Fouad Debs, attorney, activist, and founding member of the Depositors Union, will give a talk on the historical context that led to the current financial crisis, the legal systems governing financial crimes and their attempted normalization, as well as the depositor’s rights in choosing violent and non-violent strategies of confronting banking institutions.

Fouad Debs’ talk will be preceded by a tour of Fine Print, an exhibition which also looks at the financial crisis in Lebanon, its realities, consequences and vernaculars. The sheer violence of the banking sector is veiled and coded in acts of institutional politeness. Some of the works in the show track and observe this kind of violence, while others dwell on the warm smiles and obfuscating language in contracts always rigged in favor of the bank. Others still engage with the shifting material vocabulary from inviting transparent facades to metal walls of protection.

The recent wave of effective actions by depositors to take back what is theirs has stimulated the imaginary of a people in desperate need for an emancipatory horizon, while these acts were presented by the banks, the government and the security apparatuses, as violent behavior.

Fine Print is an attempt to address the lineage of institutional violence from which the banking system emerges, and the scale of this violence in relation to individual bodily encounters with banking institutions. It is clear that what constitutes a peaceful negotiation for the banks is an unconditional acceptance by depositors of all of the arbitrary and illegal measures they have put in place. Through various works and practices, Fine Print grapples with how to live and confront the material and linguistic residues of the financial crisis and the institutions responsible for it.

The tour will be held in English. The talk following the tour will be in Arabic.

From Firas El Hallak, Now That We Have Lingered: An Immersive Exploration of a Wait, a Sleeping Fern in the Chest. Part of Fine Print exhibition. On view until October 1, 2022

Visuals prepared by Ghiya Haidar in the framework of BAC Graphic-Designer in Residence Program.