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Al-Mutanabbi Street

On March 5th 2007, a car bomb was exploded on Al-Mutanabbi Street in Baghdad.

Al-Mutanabbi Street, and its books and booksellers, have always welcomed all Iraqis. More than 30 people were killed and more than 100 were wounded. Al-Mutanabbi Street, the historic centre 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.

To date there have been three responses to this action: 130 broadsides by letterpress artists, 260 artist books, and 125 writers and poets have contributed to the anthology Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here. The project as a whole includes participants from 25 countries.

In June we welcomed the founder of the Al-Mutanabbi Street Coalition, Beau Beausoleil to Exeter on his tour of the UK. Visiting Double Elephant was a highlight for him, which enabled him to see the site of the Reading event in March 2012 (see You Tube video) and to talk at an event about the project hosted by Catherine Cartwright and Kaleider .

Catherine is the UK coordinator for a new phase called “Absence and Presence” a printmaking response. You can find out more about the Al Mutanabbi Street coalition at these links. Or email catherinecartwright.devon@yahoo.co.uk

www.jadaliyya.com/pages/index/12368/al-mutanabbi-street-starts-here

www.al-mutanabbistreetstartshere-boston.com

www.bookarts.uwe.ac.uk/mutanmain12.htm

www.pmpress.org/content/article.php/BeauBeausoleil

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