The Khaleejesque team continually ponders with the barrage of research, commercial trends, and click bait articles that have called ‘time of death’ on our respective field of publishing. With our collected knowledge, network, and experience in what is seemingly a “dying field,” we set to formulate our own research more focused on the MENA publishing scene on a global scale—namely, niche and independent publishing platforms, whether print or online, founded and staffed by young Arabs and Muslims from around the world.
As a platform that strives to amplify the voices of creatives and activists alike, we are dedicated to sharing our findings on a burgeoning field amongst creatives of the MENA region and beyond. As traditional publishing houses increasingly diminish, these independent platforms are paving the way for a new movement—heralding a cultural paradigm shift towards an egalitarian voice in publishing far from the constraints of traditional print and online media.
In addition we’ve reached out to individual Zines who have shared with us their intricate workings and their missions and visions for their platform.
These are collective answers from the team at Temporary Art Platform.
- About the Platform:
TEMPORARY. ART. PLATFORM (TAP) was founded in 2014 to commission projects, residencies and site-specific artworks concerned by social practices and public spaces in Lebanon. The structure of this curatorial platform and its organic, non-regular programming, gives way to a deeper engagement with the context in which the platform unfolds and a focus on knowledge production and community impact.
TAP is also concerned with legal and artistic research that stimulate more proactive attitudes towards curating art projects outside of the art world in collaboration with private and public partners.
Since its very beginnings, TAP has focused its efforts on facilitating art interventions in physical and intangible public spaces; fostering debates around social themes, and positioning communities at the core of the reception of contemporary art, while providing artists with unique production and creation opportunities.
The first four years at TAP were focused on bridging the gap between different communities and contemporary art by commissioning public artworks (Art Interventions on Dalieh, 2017), engaging communities by inviting them to participate in the conception and production of works (Chou Hayda, 2018 and Works on Paper, 2016), commissioning research on the legal and administrative challenges of production of contemporary art in the public sphere (The ToolGuide, 2016), and organizing artists residencies in rural areas of Lebanon that engage communities through rich public programs and participatory art projects around a pressing social thematic.
- Content: what is your publication concerned with and what kind of content does it feature?
Since its foundation, TAP has been operating as a small initiative that responds to the glaring need to catalyze art practices outside the art world in Lebanon and in the public sphere; one that has been at the crux of social, cultural, economic, and political concerns and one that we believe should be addressed in the realm of socially engaged art practice.
- The team behind the platform:
Our platform currently has two core members who diligently work to keep TAP’s work relevant: Amanda Abi Khalil, TAP founder and independent curator, and Nour Osseiran who is the cultural manager.
TAP's contextual approach is also reflected in its organic institutional model. Since our projects tap into different topics, geographies, and communities, we call in more specialized members according to the specificities and needs of our unique endeavors.
- Work Space:
Our philosophy has always been more focused on context-responsive than merely building an institution (four walls and an office chair) which is why we direct our efforts – and finances – into funding the projects we organize rather than office rental. Moreover, since our work is concerned with taking contemporary art into the public sphere, our work takes place at the intersection of meetings, discussions, and collaborations with different individual or institutional partners.
Images courtesy of Temporary Art Platform (T.A.P.).