Cities Under Quarantine – The Mailbox Project

Cities Under Quarantine – The Mailbox Project

Vision and Direction – Abed Al Kadiri

Project Manager – Laetitia El Hakim


Artist’s Books Cover and Project Design – Reza Abidini

Publication Design – Lynne Zakhour


Texts – Venetia Porter, Abed Al Kadiri and Dia Al-Azzawi

English Copy Editing – Eugenia Bell

Arabic Copy Editing – Mariam Janjelo


Artist’s Books reproductions – Laetitia El Hakim and Blanche Eid

Making of Photographs – Courtesy of the Artists

Villa Romana Reproductions – Okno Studios

Mathaf Reproductions – Laetitia El Hakim and Ali Al Ansari

Dia al-Azzawi Reproductions – Anthony Dawton


Logistics – Zeina Chamseddine

Publications Specifications:

240 x 300 mm

Magno Volume Matt White 130gr

Sirio Orange 140gr


Silkscreen Cover – SS silkscreens, Beirut

Printing – 53dots, Beirut

Hard Cover binding – Beaino Book Bindery, Beirut

Envelope production – The Print Shop, Beirut


Limited editions of 750


Availability: 450 in stock

In his book Ingres and Other Parables, John Baldessari wrote “it’s difficult to put a painting in the mailbox.” His desire to create hand-held art to be viewed outside gallery walls was integral to his practice with artist’s books.

Since the Coronavirus outbreak escalated into a global pandemic, artists have found deeper meaning in their personal spaces and studios – not just as places of production but as sanctuaries and safe spaces. We see a desire to engage artistically with many of our friends around the world who all now find themselves creating art from home, even with the most limited of materials.

In light of such drastic closure of all art institutions, museums and airports, we have begun to question what our collective spaces can offer us as we stay apart together. What could Dongola, not just as publishers, but as believers in the power of artistic connection encourage through our peers?

This shift to the intimate and personal reminds us now, more than ever, that an artist’s book will always be an essential practice expressive of and responsive to the world around us in extraordinary times.

And so, it is for these reasons that we have decided to reach out to many friends scattered in different cities through handmade, hand-stitched books created and designed in-house by Abed Al Kadiri. The books were made with the highest commitment to aseptic conditions possible and are being mailed to all the artists invited to speculate on our present and shared future through the creation of their own artist’s books.

It is an invitation to join us in thinking along the same lines, through a practice we have dedicated ourselves to for the past few years. We believe in the relevance of the artist’s book today, now more than ever.

A compilation of the completed work will be published as a limited-edition book by Dongola upon the project’s completion and will hopefully be exhibited in the future.

The notebooks were shipped to 59 artists in 22 cities around the world: Youssef Abdelké, Majd Abdel Hamid, Khalid Albaih, Bashar Al Hroub, Lulwah Al Humoud, Abed Al Kadiri, Mohamed Al Shammarey, Mounira Al Solh, Walid Al Wawi, Dia Al-Azzawi, Said Baalbaki, Dalia Baasiri, Nasreddine Bennacer, Khaled Barakeh, Serwan Baran, Dia Batal, Taysir Batniji, Zoulikha Bouabdellah, Ali Cherri, Ziad Dalloul, Cristiana de Marchi, Fatima El Hajj, Dina Haddadin, Gilbert Hage, Samia Halabi, Hazem Harb, Mohamed Joha, Nadia Kaabi-Linke, Hiba Kalache, Mohammad Kazem, Ammar Khamash, Khaled Khreis, Ghada Khunji, Issam Kourbaj, Sadik Kwaish Alfraji, Kevork Mourad, Leila Muraywid, Mahmoud Obaidi, Mohammad Omar Khalil, Sadek Rahim, Nizar Sabour, Faisal Samra, Mona Saudi, Abdulrahim Sharif, Laila Shawa, Tarlan Tabar, Hoda Tawakol, Mary Tuma, Nazar Yahya, Raed Yassin, Fadi Yazigi, Shawki Youssef Camille Zakharia, Hani Zurob.

For the project, click here.

Cities Under Quarantine – The Mailbox Project

Availability: 450 in stock

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