Abstract

Lotus was a tri-lingual quarterly brought out by the Afro-Asian Writers' Association. Initially titled Afro-Asian Writings, its inaugural edition was launched from Cairo in March 1968, in Arabic and English, followed by the French. By 1971, the trilingual quarterly acquired the name Lotus. Egypt, the Soviet Union, and the German Democratic Republic funded its production. The Arabic edition was printed in Cairo, and the English and French editions were printed in the German Democratic Republic. The Afro-Asian Writers' Association (AAWA) and its over-arching affiliate, the Afro-Asian People's Solidarity Organization (AAPSO), both had headquarters in Cairo. In 1978, President Anwar Sadat signed the Camp David Accords and the Permanent Bureau in Cairo was deactivated. Lotus moved to Beirut despite the raging Civil War, where it was was granted home and hospitality by the Union of Palestinian Writers. Its offices remained there until the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982 when it once again relocated along with the Palestinian Liberation Organization to Tunis. The journal was discontinued in the late 1980s or early 1990s with the dismantling of the Soviet Union. The Permanent Bureau in Cairo was reinstated, but the journal was not as such reactivated. The project outlines a partial biography of a forgotten magazine from a bipolar world and its interrupted historical networks. It considers graphic and textual elements from the margins of the magazine for evidence of its trajectory.

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