A Now for MENAM integrates various historical and contemporary practices of time keeping across the cultural geography of Middle East, North Africa and the Mediterranean (MENAM). Instead of unifying the different time zones and calendar systems used within this vast geography, the calendar offers a set of discursive perceptions and experiences of time embedded within different cultural artifacts and symbolisms—jokes, recipes, news, or visualizations of high-frequency trading. The application brings together the slow and the fast, the personal and the social, the past and the future and algorithmically curates a ‘now’ to be shared across MENAM.
The calendar works as a real-time mobile application that delivers images, videos, information or text from different archives and online sources. The format refers to the calendars published in Turkey since 1900s known as the “educational calendar with time” (Turkish: Saatli Maarif Takvimi). These calendars offer a daily digest of practical information—quotes, recipes, remedies, suggested names for newborns—as well information about significant events from the past. A Now for MENAM offers a contemporary take on this format and offers a critical commentary on the periodicity, synchronicity and the continuity of temporal experiences in an intellectual geography shaped by a multitude of social, cultural, and political experiences.
A short write-up about the piece is featured at the 10th issue of Cleaver. Now is Elsewhere