PRINT February 2003


Walid Raad is writing a history of contemporary events in Lebanon, a seemingly comprehensive essay using video, the Internet, performance, collage, and digital photography, not to mention prose in English, French, and Arabic. Given its scope and the obsessive nature of the cataloguing, it’s not surprising that Raad has enlisted help in the form of the Atlas Group, a foundation comprising various individuals and institutions, some of which exist independently of their relationship to Raad and some of which don’t. That is, the Atlas Group is real, but some of its components are made from a fictional fabric.

Hostage: The Bachar Tapes (#17 and #31) English Version, 2001, tells the story of Souheil Bachar, whose testimony deals with Western hostages kidnapped in Beirut in the ’80s. Bachar addresses various dimensions of the crisis, like writing the experience of captivity and how Arab and Western

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