Bidayat is a sociopolitical and cultural quarterly founded in Beirut in 2012, shortly after the Arab uprisings. Conceived as an intellectual platform in Arabic, Bidayat strives to create new forms of publishing critical content. Neither academic journal nor popular magazine, it is scholarly rigorous and aimed at a general readership. It engages young generations of writers and artists as well as established thinkers alike. It addresses contemporary issues while also pondering questions of memory and the archive. Bidayat’s many sections deal with literature, history, popular and folk culture, cinema, art, and the impact of neoliberalism on the economies, societies, states, and cultures in the Arab region.
In this talk, Cynthia Kreichati and Jana Traboulsi from Bidayat’s team reflect on the meaning, implications, and definitions attributed to ‘independent publishing’. They consider Bidayat’s position in the publishing landscape and discuss some of the challenges it faces today.