Dongola Limited Editions – The national – Cities Under Quarantine

Dongola Limited Editions – The national – Cities Under Quarantine

For many, social isolation amid the coronavirus pandemic has brought about feelings of anxiety and restlessness.

It is precisely these reactions that Abed Al Kadiri, an artist and curator in Beirut, is hoping to channel into creativity, with the launch of a new project for Middle Eastern artists.

In recognition that in these trying and unprecedented times, many artists will have limited materials to work with and will be keen to connect with their peers, he is approaching them through their letterboxes.

Al Kadiri’s publishing house, Dongola Books, has posted more than 50 books to creative types currently working in isolation in their homes and studios, so that they can use them to reflect what is happening now or what the shared future might look like. Each one sent out as part of his Cities Under Quarantine: The Mailbox Project will have the name of the person it is sent to on the front cover, and will be turned into an entire work of art, or “artist’s book”, by the recipient.

[…]

He began the project last month when social distancing measures were first being implemented by governments worldwide. “I’ve always liked the idea of an ‘artist’s book’, and always felt there was a necessity to practice the artist book myself,” he said. “Each book is unique and with it you can incorporate many different disciplines, whether that’s painting, collage, photography.

[…]

Hoda Tawakol, an artist based in Hamburg, the Lebanese artist Fatima El Hajj in Paris, and Jordan-based architect and visual artist Dina Haddadin are involved in the project. London-based Dia Azzawi, Saudi Arabia’s Ahmed Mater, Gaza-born Taysir Batniji, and Syrian artist Ziad Dalloul have also received their artist’s books. Four artists from the Emirates – Mohammed Kazem, Hazem Harb, Walid Al Wawi and Cristiana De Marchi – are also involved.

[…]

“Around half of the artists on this project have practiced with artist books before so it is an invitation for this medium to have more presence in the arts scene.”

Read more

Dongola Limited Editions – The national – Cities Under Quarantine