Last week I had the privilege along with Rochelle Monner, MalPina Chan and Deborah Commodore (all members of the Puget Sound Book Artists organization) to unpack and set-up the Al-Mutanabbi Starts Here book exhibit. This is a remarkable show of over 52 books from the collection of over 200 books that are part of the Al-Mutanabbi Inventory project. This project was started by poet and artist, Beau Beausoleil as a response to a bombing that took place March 5, 2007 in Al-Mutanabbi Street in Baghdad.
Al-Mutanabbi Street is in a mixed Shia-Sunni area. More than 30 people were killed and more than 100 were wounded. Al-Mutanabbi Street, the historic center of Baghdad bookselling, holds bookstores and outdoor bookstalls, cafes, stationery shops, and even tea and tobacco shops. It has been the heart and soul of the Baghdad literary and intellectual community. An Inventory of Al-Mutanabbi Street represents over 200 handmade books made by artists and poets in response to the bombing.
Blog contributor: Jane Carlin, Library Director
Photo credit: MalPina Chan
Read more about the project and the exhibit: Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here