Bidoun, the culture magazine that focuses on artistic products from and about the Middle East, has been around since 2004. But the Middle East, for the founders of the publication (who identify as “Middle Eastern in a broad sense”), is not a static or even spatially designated place. It does not exist on the other side of (or in opposition to) some imaginary border erected by the so-called West. The senior editor of Bidoun, Negar Azimi, told the New York Times that the magazine’s “vision of the Mideast extends to India, it extends to L.A. It certainly doesn’t fulfill the expectations of the ‘Clash of Civilizations’ vision that’s so pervasive.” Bidoun serves as a kind of print-based cultural meeting point for a vast and complex Middle Eastern diaspora. Although the magazine’s readership is relatively small, Bidoun is nevertheless influential and respected in the similarly unlocatable, mercurial community known as “the art world.” The magazine has featured work by and interviews with artists celebrated by major institutions such as the Tate Modern and the Whitney, has bore witness to major uprisings, and has lent its pages to musings from the likes of musician M.I.A. and lauded Kenyan writer Binyavanga Wainaina. Bidoun, the founders assert, “is an experiment: a collection of voices whose sum total aims to engage.” Founded in conversation with - and as a counterpoint to - the tense cultural climate that followed 9/11, the magazine is a crucial and multilayered platform that highlights an underrepresented and marginalized artistic community. 

Cover of Bidouin magazine.

Two page spread. Left side: an old Nokia cell phone sits atop a collage. Right – collaged images (older gentleman, cellphone operated by hand, crowd of people).
Page featuring some text.
Two page spread featuring a large "25" and some smaller images.
Two page spread. Left: Interior of a travel agency. Right: Large text block.
Two page spread. Left: Pink table with stuff arranged on it, blue wall with cylinders stuck to it. Right: text.
Bidoun Magazine table of contents

Also see this previous post on Bidoun.