the other day i was in Borders and was flicking through the magazines when i came across a title i had never seen before - Bidoun magazine. For some reason i picked it up and was instantly hooked.
At the moment its fair to say that (in the UK at least) there seems to be a waking up to the contemporary middle east arts scene (currently courtesy of Saatchis latest exhibition), and Bidoun is a great magazine dedicated in covering this scene.
To put it honestly and bluntly I knew nothing of the scene, the artists or what was being made. In my uneducated mind i presumed it was all heavy on the political, but upon finding this magazine i found out that i loved what was being made, and what also surprised me was how equal to the modern art scenes of London and New York the middle east is. Now i know that sounds really stupid and naive (and it was), but that was just how i thought...its just i guess that i never expected the work to be so good, and there to be so much.
The thing that i love about this magazine is that i read nearly every article. It has been a long time since i didn't skip any articles in a magazine, as everything was fascinating, educational and well written ... as such this magazine is amazing value (£5) as it lasted me hours! From Vegan Islamic punks from SoCal (Vegan Reich), growing up in wartorn Beirut, Slavs & Tartars art collective, Kanoon and much more. Before i would never have exposure or knowledge of any of that, and i think that its crazy now in hindsight! so much goodness being made now and so much to catch up on, as there is such a rich history im excited to explore.
I find Bidoun really exciting...its a no filler magazine, that has opened my eyes to a hugely exciting scene and culture, and its now a title i will track down every new issue with excitement...and if you ever heed my shitty words on this blog, if you ever have a spare fiver and are near Borders, cop this
One of the deciding factors in Bidouns initial purchase was this article. A few years ago a psycho muslim terrorised Washington DC by hiding in the boot of his car and shooting strangers. When he was in court (after his capture) he spent his trial drawing, and here is a nice spread of his teenage style drawings. The article is engrossing, yet scary, as his life story from slums to islamic idealist via the film of the matrix and his absent parents is very interesting
Some more pages...
Stoke Newington represent!!!