Monday, August 28, 2006

Pages & Bidoun

Pages began its activities in February 2004 by publishing a bilingual - Farsi/English - periodical pursuing an exchange between Iranian and international authors and artists with critical views on art, culture, urbanism and social issues.

Soon after publishing the second issue of the magazine, Pages began to develop collaborative projects with practitioners in different cultural fields. Its activities transcended the magazine format into other layouts, these may be installation works, video essays, workshops and presentations. As supplements to the magazine, the projects were often accompanied by publications such as a newspaper, posters, booklets, etc.

Pages is interested in those cultural productions that communicate the specific conditions and circumstances in which they are produced, those socio-political conditions against which an artistic production is inevitably read as a discourse. In particular through a series of projects Pages tries to examine the possibilities of interaction and juxtaposition of various local discourses and conditions. As such Pages constantly searches for ways to surpass predefined and geographically bound discourses of subjectivity and locality.

Being a bilingual magazine already forces Pages into constant rethinking of its position within specific social and political contexts. In effect this seems to reassert a certain unpredictability into the pages of the magazine. Pages tries to constantly point to those intricacies and dissonances within local currents that give way to alternative chains of meanings, relations and coincidences.

Current Issue: On the Verge of Vertigo / Issue 05 / August 2006

BIDOUN was created as a platform for ideas and an open forum for exchange, dialogue and opinions about arts and culture from the Middle East. BIDOUN's primary goal is to bring together cultural expressions from a vast and nuanced region. BIDOUN also addresses some of the widespread misconceptions about the region and its Diaspora by inciting readers to take a fresh look at the Middle East and its peoples, too often presented as one-dimensional or stagnant.

BIDOUN means 'without' in both Arabic and Farsi. In our contemporary context, it connotes the statelessness in which many of us find ourselves-sometimes voluntarily, sometimes not.

BIDOUN is not limited by political boundaries drawn onto maps. Its very essence is the fluidity of geographies and a challenge to the myth of singular and absolute representation. Yet we are cautious with our role as culture broker. While we acknowledge the reductionist tendencies of orientalism, BIDOUN also resists obsessing over cultural difference.

This is not about being authoritative. Rather, BIDOUN is an experiment: a collection of voices whose sum total aims to engage.

Current Issue: TOURISM / Issue 07 / Spring 2006