Bidoun Library at the Townhouse Gallery, Cairo

From October 12th to November 24th, the Bidoun Library and Project Space were hosted by the Townhouse Gallery in Cairo. Contemporaneous with the library was a symposium devoted to archival practices, “Speak, Memory,” which brought together photographer Susan Meiselas, members of the collective Pad.ma, Claire Hsu of the Asia Art Archive, Negar Azimi and Yasmine Eid Sabbagh of the Arab Image Foundation, Vasif Kortun of Platform Garanti in Istanbul, and many others. As part of Bidoun’s program, the Bidoun Library hosted talks by historian Khaled Fahmy and curator Bassem El-Baroni, co-founder of the Alexandria Contemporary Arts Forum and co-curator of Manifesta 8. The Bidoun program is curated by Contributing Editor Hassan Khan.

The project allows visitors to explore, research, and create wide-ranging connections through materials that are generally unavailable commercially. Parts of the Library focuses on materials created by and for artists; artists’ books have been generously donated by JRP Ringier (Zurich) and Walther Konig (Berlin) that will in turn stay on in Cairo — to be housed at the Townhouse Gallery’s own permanent library space.