We’ve been thinking about growing up. In March Bidoun had its fifth birthday, which we celebrated with a party on a converted golf course in Dubai. Five years is a long time. There are weddings and funerals and make-outs and breakups and victories and defeats. A lot of parties, actually. Five is like thirty-five in magazine years, and whether you were here with us at the beginning or just hopped on the bandwagon, we’re truly glad to have you.
The theme of this issue is INTERVIEWS, and inside you can spend time with Ghida Fakhry, coanchor of Al Jazeera English’s Washington bureau; or Banu Cennetoglu, currently representing Turkey at the Venice Biennale with what might be the world’s largest artist’s book; or the geeky gang of four behind Samandal, the Middle East’s first trilingual comics anthology. Pop star Maya Arulpragasam, aka M.I.A., relates Qaddafi’s style tips and the games young Sri Lankan people play.
But thinking about growing up has also meant thinking about getting old, and as it happens, some of our favorite encounters this time out are with the elders. Lawrence Weiner took our man Babak Radboy to school, creating a kind of dialogical “letter to a young conceptual artist.” Alejandro Jodorowsky, the famed director and magus of psychomagic, shared some surmises as to what makes Israel a holy land—and it’s totally not what you think. Lynne Tillman sat down with Lebanese writer Etel Adnan to discuss exile, existentialism, and the politics of poetry. Mohammed Mrabet gave us his recipe for fish soup Tangier-style while denouncing his old boss and collaborator, Paul Bowles. John Wilcock, cofounder of Andy Warhol’s Interview magazine, delivered a hands-on master class for making memorable conversations. Tony Shafrazi explained how the young conceptual artist who defaced Guernica as a political act founded a go-go contemporary art gallery in the last days of the shah’s Iran. And then there is the quietly epic story of what happened when Gini (Alhadeff, memoirist) met Hampton (Fancher, screenwriter, actor, dancer).
This is our second issue devoted to interviews. This one is twice as thick and three times as sweet. At least, we hope.