Arts and Culture from the Middle East

Bidoun is an arts organization dedicated to supporting and promoting contemporary artists from the Middle East.

BIDOUN magazine was created as a platform for ideas and an open forum for exchange, dialogue and opinions about arts and culture from the Middle East.

bidounlanda.jpg - THE BIDOUN LOUNGE AND ARTISTS' CINEMA Many thanks to all involved in helping to create the Bidoun Artists' Cinema and Video Lounge at Art Dubai 2008 , particularly the participating artists - Akram Zaatari, Ziad Antar, Hossam El Sawah, Rosalind Nashashibi, Iman Issa, Nadine Khan, Shahryar Nashat, Yasmeen Al Awadi, Walter Benjamin, Matthew Grover, Anna Witt, Shahab Fotouhi, Yoshua Okon, Chris Evans, LouLou Cherinet, David Maljkovic and Haluk Akakce - and our design partners, Traffic and the Khatt Foundation. The cinema featured…

Established in 2003, we publish the award-winning quarterly magazine Bidoun and, under our curatorial wing Bidoun Projects, commission and manage artists’ projects, exhibitions and events. Bidoun’s editor-curators are based in Dubai, Cairo, Beirut and New York, and our network of contributing writers, artists, architects,filmmakers, curators and designers extends throughout the region and beyond. For more information on Bidoun, please visit

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.

Lisa Farjam Founder, Editor-in-Chief
Lisa Farjam started Bidoun in the fall of 2003. She graduated with a BA in Literature from Bard College in 2000. She lives and works in New York City.

Negar Azimi, Senior Editor
Negar was based in Cairo until 2004, working as a curatorial assistant at the Townhouse Gallery of Contemporary Art. She is a member of the Beirut-based Fondation Arabe pour l'Image, with whom she is working on photographic projects in Iran and the greater Arab region. She studied politics at Stanford and Harvard, and is now at Columbia, where she's pursuing a PhD.

Antonia Carver, Editor
Besides Bidoun, Antonia is the Middle East correspondent for Screen International, and contributes to the Art Newspaper. Based in Dubai, she works as a programme consultant to the Edinburgh International Film Festival, Scotland, and the Mini Film Festival, UAE. She was the project editor for the photography survey BLINK (Phaidon, 2002).

To contact one of the editors write to with their name in the subject.

Contact information

  • Bidoun
  • 195 Chrystie St.
  • NY 10002
  • New York
  • US