A Farewell to F/I/M²/P

When it comes to getting to know the crème of the crop in local design, illustration, photography and even fashion design, one should look no further than F/I/M²/P, an independent Lebanese publication devoted to showcasing  a prime selection of, both local and global, fashion, illustration, music, movies and photography (hence the acronym).

Two years, ten issues, and a whole lot of awesome content later, the F/I/M²/P-sters will be bidding our eyeballs farewell with the release of their final issue and second anniversary celebration on Wednesday the 11th.

To mark the occasion, I had a chat with the duo who originally conceived F/I/M²/P, Mohamad Abdouni and Rudy Shaheen, to get the lowdown on how it all came to be.


Pheel: When was F/I/M²/P first established, and how?

F/I/M²/P: Well F/I/M²/P started out a couple of years back, and quite a while before issue 0 ever came out. The idea came one very late work night (towards the early hours of the morning), when we (Mohamad & Rudy) had the juvenile and naive thought of starting our own magazine; something we had both wanted to do for a while it seemed, and just never happened to share that passion with each other up until that night.

We literally started working on it the next day, and almost a while later we published our first issue. This doesn't go without mentioning that we had Karl, our associate editor, on board with us since the very beginning and had both Charlie and Krystel  join in later on, along with an amazing group of talented folk who have come and gone and left their mark.

Everyone came from some kind of design background, whether it was illustration, photography, fashion...

Pheel: What was your intention with this publication, and what were you looking to bring to the table, that Beirut was missing? 

F/I/M²/P: We wanted a sandbox for everyone to play around in and for us to share what we wanted everyone to listen to, watch and check out. We didn't think it would get this much hype, we didn't think we'd end up quitting our jobs and see this grow and gain an audience. We were genuinely humbled to see the outcome and still are.

Beirut had its fair share of decent, and at times fantastic, visual publications that either dealt with comics, or photography, or (less so) fashion. None however, we thought, joined all these fields together in one place. We believed fashion, illustration, music, movies and photography worked well together and intertwined often. "Let's!".

What we discussed had international reach but came from a Middle Eastern, and mostly Lebanese, perspective in the sense that it was shot, illustrated and written by Lebanese talents. That was our aim. That was what we wanted to see and put out there.

Pheel: The magazine has often been lauded for its visuals and aesthetic. On what basis were you recruiting visual contributors, and what kind of “vibe” were you trying to create?

F/I/M²/P: There was no real specific look we tried to go for while choosing contributors, nor specific criteria really. If a potential contributor had an "OK" from the majority of team members, they were in!

Pheel: Through the years, you’ve had various local talents toss in their optical touch to the stew. Who are some of your all-time favorites?

F/I/M²/P : We're not going to pretend like we didn't each have a few favorites, but you're not getting any of the dirt! Think of the chaos that would ensue!

Pheel: Putting an issue out every month or so must have been hectic and not without its adversities. What kinds of obstacles did you guys face?

F/I/M²/P : They were many, but nothing you wouldn't expect really, nothing out of the ordinary. Small business, arts and culture related ... You'd expect some drawbacks. Print, however, was quite the expensive hassle. We refuse to believe that print is dead and still have faith in people out there who still value the importance of print, but one must admit that few are the people who still do.

Pheel: If someone here in Lebanon were looking to get their very own independent magazine going, what advice would you give them?

F/I/M²/P: Don't!

Nah, but in all honesty, a good business plan before you go into it goes a long way. Scratch that. A fantastic full-proof extensive business plan is a must. Don't go in it alone, and know, for a fact, that it will be a long and grueling ordeal that will drain you. But goddammit, it's goddamn rewarding.

Send F/I/M²/P off in style tomorrow night at their second anniversary and final issue launch.

- Pheel


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