Friends helped make this video of me talking about this wonderful project. Please take a minute, watch the 3 minute video (just click on the blue link to the video), donate if you can (any amount, such as $10 is appreciated) and spread the word. We are trying to raise $12,000- so far we have $6,702. We have until Dec 3.
We have wonderful thank you rewards for donors. Annette Disslin, an artist from Germany, just sent beautiful letterpress journals of poems on war, time and peace. They are gorgeous.Blessings and thanks,Cathy DeForest
Keep Alive the Spirit of Al-Mutanabbi Street!
For the past year and a half, I have been part of The Al-Mutanabbi Street Coalition. It is a lament and a commemoration of the singular power of words, seeking to make visible the literary bridge that connects us all across continents, across cultures and the passage of time. We ask what it means when any powerful group tries to erase culture, attack writers and artists, and control the free exchange of ideas.
Thanks to Jacquelene Ambrose and Claudine Jordan, you can see a 3 minute video of me talking about this project and some of the books created:
On March 5, 2007, a car bomb exploded in Baghdad’s historic literary and intellectual community, named for the famed tenth century Arab poet Al-Mutanabbi. Thirty people were killed; more than a hundred were wounded.
In response to the bombing, Beau Beausoleil, a poet and bookseller in San Francisco, put out a worldwide call to artists to respond to this human tragedy and attack on culture. Two hundred and sixty artists from twenty-four countries answered the call, creating original books, some of which you can see in our video: works that reflect both the strength and fragility of printed matter and show the endurance of the ideas within them.
We, artists and friends of the project, now need to raise $12,000 in order to:
– Ship these artists’ books to destinations in the United States, Europe and the Middle East to hold simultaneous exhibitions from 2013 through 2014.
– Send 260 Artists’ Books and 130 Letterpress Broadsides to the National Library of Baghdad to be part of their permanent collection.
If you can, please contribute and help affirm the commonality of al-Mutanabbi Street with any street, anywhere, that holds a bookstore or cultural institution, a place where ideas are disseminated, debated and discussed. Most of all, please send this email to others who might be interested in this project.
Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here! And you are a part of it!