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Project: Nightly Express

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Hamid Ismailov Hamid Ismailov | 14:03 UK time, Friday, 19 November 2010

The first time I went abroad was in November 1982. My first foreign country was East Germany.

As a part of our tour we were taken on the same day to Weimar - the house of Goethe and Buchenwald - the former Nazi camp. I saw the trip as a day's journey from the summit of German spirit to the lowest point of it.

That day I thought to myself: if Goethe lived through the 20th century what would his drama Faust look like? It shouldn't be a colourful book, but rather black and white, like a newspaper.

Why a newspaper? Because for me a newspaper represents all human consciousness of the 20th century - it is a patchy, fragmented, haphazard collection of events, words and reality with a lifespan of a day.

So recently the "consciousness" of the UK has been a mixture of the historic release of Aung San Suu Kui and the Haye-Harrison boxing match; the X-factor eviction and the student protests at Westminster; not forgetting the approaching cold weather front

If you read Goethe's Faust you may remember that Faust's life develops as a book does: with its plot-trigger, intrigue, climax and recapitulation. His psyche is a psyche of a book.

As I came back from Germany, I decided to write a modern Faust for the 20th century. It took me a couple of years to write my "post-Faustum" both in Uzbek and Russian, but much longer to publish. Three hundred and sixty-five copies were published in Moscow in 1991. You can see it here.

As you can see if you zoom in, it represents the Soviet newspaper Pravda (Pravda means "truth". I kept all the headlines intact, but all the content is mine.

I could go on and on about the philosophy, aesthetics and literary inventions behind it, but tough! All I would like to say is that the concept of a newspaper is important for me. And here we come to our next project.

All newspapers, in all corners of the world are preoccupied with the daily events of their community, city, country - interest sometimes extends to the world beyond.

But I always dreamt about a paper which pays attention to the world at night, during sleep, containing people's dreams.

It is not just for poets that dreams are more important than daily reality. If we have all those "dailies", we have to have once in a while an issue of The Nightly Express.

Let's have some fun. All I ask you is to send me the dreams you have at night over the next couple of weeks. Let me know where you are from so that our "newspaper" can cover all corners of the world. I want to collect enough for at least one broadsheet, so please don't be hold back: dream, dream, dream...


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