Midan is the academic blog of Manazir platform that is dedicated to the visual arts, architecture and heritage in the MENA region. It is curated by the editors of Manazir Journal and was conceived as a space of exchange and expression. This is mirrored in the word "Midan," which signifies "the public square" or the "open space" in Arabic, Persian and Turkish.
We invite submissions of exhibition, book and conference reviews and particularly encourage reviews that focus on events or publications produced in the MENA region itself. Moreover, in connection to Manazir's endeavor to shed light on art histories in the Middle East and North Africa, we accept submissions of "testimonials" from family members and friends as well about well-known artists, architects, archaeologists, collectors and curators as about others that have been overlooked by historians and art critics alike, but have played an important role in their field in the MENA region.
Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, many cultural institutions, such as galleries and museums, had to cancel and/or postpone their activities. Therefore, the artists and the institutions are disconnected from their audience. To keep in touch with his fellow Iraqi artists, the London-based Iraqi artist Dia Azzawi founded the online magazine Makou (There isn’t) in May 2020. By providing a platform specialized in contemporary Iraqi art, Makou describes itself as a “free zone of creativity”. The first issue of the magazine focuses on the pandemic and its consequences on art production.
What is an “Islamic” thing? In Waren Welt Islam (Commodity World Islam) Alina Kokoschka examines the life world of “Islamic” things, consumer culture, and the aesthetics of commodities in the context of Syria, Lebanon and Turkey. Laura Hindelang talks with Alina Kokoschka about the book, brands and brand fakes, and open science.
Read the report of the symposium “Images absentes, images détruites: une approche comparatiste?” to discover, through an original journey among different cultures and epochs, the rather transnational and trans historical character of iconoclasm and aniconism, as well as the most common reasons underlying them.
Firouzeh Saghafi conducted an interview with the director of Datsan’s Basement, Hormoz Hematian, to get his view on the art situation in Iran in times of the COVID-19 pandemic.