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School of Social and Political Science: Graduate school


Arek Dakessian

Arek Dakessian
Arek Dakessian
Sociology School of Social and Political Science University of Edinburgh
Edinburgh UK EH8 9LD
+44 (0)7447 509 109
Research Interests
Cultural Production, Creative Industries, Cities, Beirut, Ethnography, Social Network Analysis, Networks of Cultural Production, Distinction, Taste, Material Culture, Materiality, colonialism and imperialism

PhD Title

Casting Nets and Framing Films: an Ethnography of Networks of Cultural Production in Beirut


My research looks into the everyday experiences of freelance film workers in Beirut. More specifically, I investigate the formation and day-to-day maintenance of networks of film production by looking at the relationships among filmmakers in particular networks and the conflation of personal and professional lives in the world of film production. 

More recently, I have been developing a keen interest in colonialism and materiality. I am particularly interested in charting the social history of rolling papers commonly used in Lebanon and, in the past, throughout the region: Papier Damas. 

I am also a research assistant on a British Academy funded project that explores the emotional and institutional consequences of discrimination and racism faced by displaced youth in Beirut. 



The Sue Grant Service Award 2015/16 - Joint winner with my dear friends and colleagues at LIVED. 

Saratov Sufferings International Documentary Drama Film Festival 2015 - Special Prize awarded by Saratov State University Studio: Learning to Swim.


LIVED (Previously the LIVED Zaatari Documentary Project)
Co-Founder and Co-Project Director
LIVED is an Edinburgh University based registered charity aimed at shedding light, creating awareness, and mobilising support for the lived experiences of displaced youth populations around the world. 

Winter Global Ethnographies - Creative Beirut 
Creative Beirut is an ethnography of the meanings and stories of Beiruti film, photography and design and the cultural networks that produce the city’s aesthetic representation of the self. See Beirut's still images and motion pictures from February 24 to 28. Panel discussions will be held as of 5:30 pm on February 25, 26, and 27 in the Chrystal Macmillan Building. Catch a brief summary of the event here.


Social Films - Fall 2014
The University of Edinburgh
Social Films is an interactive workshop for postgraduate SSPS students at the University of Edinburgh, aimed at providing early career researchers with the skills to communicate to the general public through films. 


Course Convener: SOW 223 - Working with Communities (Spring 2015)
Haigazian University - Beirut, Lebanon

Guest Lecturer: PGSP11101 - Advanced Issues in Socio-Cultural Research (Fall 2015)
"Ethnographing Cultural Production Back Home"
The University of Edinburgh

Unit Lectures: SSC10102 - Social Identities (Fall 2014)
Social Identities in Late Modernity
Social Identities in Post-Modernity
Edinburgh Napier University

Tutor for:

- Rethinking the Financial Crisis (SCPL08011) - Fall 2015
The University of Edinburgh

- Introduction to Sociology 1 (SSC07101) - Fall 2015
Edinburgh Napier University 

- Popular Music, Technology and Society (SCIL10064) - Fall 2014
The University of Edinburgh

- Sustainable Development 1A (SCIL08008) - Fall 2014 / Fall 2013 
The University of Edinburgh 

Globalization (SCIL10067) - Fall 2013
The University of Edinburgh 

- Socia and Political Enquiry 2 (SSPS08004) - Spring 2013
The University of Edinburgh


MSc Global Social Change - University of Edinburgh

B.A. Social Work - Haigazian University