Material Meditation on Mending Al Mutanabbi Street

2012, 11 x 8.5 in., 32 pp.
Digital edition of 50

On March 5 in 2007, a car bomb was exploded on al-Mutanabbi Street in Baghdad, a mixed Shia-Sunni area and the heart and soul of the city’s literary and intellectual community. More than 30 people were killed and more than 100 wounded. Al-Mutanabbi Street is the historic center of Baghdad bookselling with bookstores, outdoor bookstalls, cafes, stationery, tea and tobacco shops. The al-Mutanabbi Street Coalition (writers, artists, historians and other cultural workers organized by Beau Beausoleil based in San Francisco), issued an international challenge for book artists to “re-assemble” the “inventory” of reading material that was lost in the bombing, honoring al-Mutanabbi Street by creating work that holds the memory and future of what was lost that day. 

Material Meditation on Mending Al Mutanabbi Street, consists of fifteen two-sided loose-leaf prints made from collages constructed from remnants of found books, rubbings from book bindings and photographs. The leaves are gathered into a tar paper folder like pages picked up in the street and slipped into a convenient sheath.