Bidoun is a magazine that covers art and culture in the Middle East. To quote Babak Radboy, the magazine’s creative director:
“The magazine is driven by a central paradox: how does one make a journal on a region like the Middle East while simultaneously questioning the neutrality of journalism and the region’s very existence as more than a construct of outside interests? How does one ‘picture’ a region in which representation is a point of contestation and a site of historical exploitation? The answer, in part, has been to let these problematics themselves propel our process — from editorial to image production — resulting in a quarterly which is by turns remarkably inconsistent and consistently remarkable.”
From a design perspective, this means reconceptualizing the magazine with each issue. The layout, typography, and feature language are repeatedly rebuilt, as if to correct the flaws in past issues while planting seeds for those issues yet to come. Visual ideas that were barely addressed in issue #20 (Bazaar) are expanded upon at length in issue #21 (Bazaar II), while issues #22 (Library) and #25 (25) exhibit a structural foundation only hinted at elsewhere.
In this way, the magazine is like a game with a continuously-evolving ruleset. From one issue to the next there may be only passing resemblance, but as a whole the magazine maintains a spirit that is undeniably its own.