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The Perfumed Garden is the axis and access point of my work in art and politics since 2012. Debuting in the first issue of Beirut-based The Outpost magazine as a literary supplement, The Perfumed Garden’s debut exercise was to create a parallel world where characters from The Outpost—and that the magazine editorial considered “change-makers” or “world-makers” in the Arab World—would meet in a borderless new world.

The Perfumed Garden borrows its name from Cheikh Nefzaoui’s fifteenth-century Arabic sex manual and work of erotic literature officially compiled at the request of the Hafsid ruler of Tunis, Abū Fāris ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz al-Mutawakkil. In this adaptation, this new [ongoing] work of literature re-invites Arab peoples to their flesh, and explores a new form of citizenship/affiliation based on a new constructed intimacy with the land.

After the publication of The Perfumed Garden as a novella in The Outpost, I developed it as a skeleton for my ongoing pursuit of alternative politics, rewriting sustainable fictions and researching new forms of social architecture. Most of my work as an artist sets its foundations in and extends this newly created territory, expressed in a developed version of The Outpost novella titled The Perfumed Garden: An Autobiography of Another Arab World. In this novel-length text, the reader is invited to a malleable and mysterious version of the Arab World that is being sculpted by the loves and revolts of a new generation.

 
 
 

Title ········· The Perfumed Garden

Medium ········· Serial Novel

Year ······ 2012-ongoing

Language ······· English