In the first issue of EastEast Paper, we were in the flow, saw our reflection in a 16th-century silver mirror from the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha, voyaged through the memories of artists, reflected on the turbulence of 2020, and sailed on an east-east heading.
On the threshold of the new year, after arriving on a shore littered with events, we find ourselves on the imaginary (or real) crossroads of time and fate, of cultural traditions and diplomatic relations, looking for the keys to a new age. We find ourselves in an Eastern fairytale, unfolded according to the method of the Russian folklorist Vladimir Propp.
The portrait by the Qatari artist Shouq Al-Mana depicts the unity of the nation by referencing traditional cultural symbols: the agal and the shaila, parts of the national headdress. Opposite her, captured in the lens of the photographer Ananta Dasa, sits an Indian man, holding a sign with his name and place of birth in his crossed hands. Intersections are sure to occur in everyone’s life: you just have to stay a while and look around.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the great Russian ethnographer, artist, and photographer Samuil Dudin laid the foundations of the collection at the Russian Museum of Ethnography in St. Petersburg. Dudin traveled all over Central Asia, gaining entry into the folk-art traditions of the Uzbeks and the Tajiks, the Kyrgyz and the Sarts, and their everyday lives, usually hidden from the eyes of foreigners.
In the new edition of EastEast Paper, we pursue similar field work in order to preserve the memory of traditions and reassemble the image of the East. We study the drawings and admire the works of the late Egyptian architect Hassan Fathy. We find evidence that the Mamluk Sultanate (1250–1517) was receptive to European art. We discover the World of Islam Festival of the 1970s with Ahmed Paul Keeler. Finally, we dream of flying like the non-migratory birds depicted on the passports of most states. Although real rooster is stuck in Kenya, and the saker falcon remains in Kuwait, passports bearing their images can cross borders and wind up at a crossroads. When cultural traditions are open to multiple interpretations, our most urgent task is to learn how to translate them from one language to another.
Elena Yushina, Editor-in-Chief, EastEast Paper
Editor-in-Chief: Elena Yushina
Art Director: Andrei Shelyutto
Design and layout: Irina Chekmaryova
Executive Secretary: Arina Oblakova
Editor: Olga Ulyanova
Proofreading: Andrey Bauman, Thomas Campbell
Translations from Russian to English: Thomas Campbell
Translations from English to Russian: Olga Ulyanova
Translations from Russian to Arabic: Alexandra Shirshova
ISBN ISBN 978-5-6045059-1-5 (ФАРО/FARO)
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