| A Call to Action for Letterpress
Printers! - Al-Mutanabbi Street Broadsides
Round Three - Spring 2009
Many thanks to all the artists and writers who contributed broadsides to the second call of the project’s January 2009 deadline.
The third round is now in progress, so please join us, the deadline for the third call is April 15th 2009.
To protest & commemorate the bombing of al-Mutanabbi Street, the centre of bookselling in Baghdad, on March 5th 2007, the Al-Mutanabbi Street
Coalition* is organising readings and other events that will begin in March 2009 as a fundraiser for Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF).
On March 5th 2007, a car bomb was exploded on 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 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.
Any group that wants to control a people also wants to control the content of every printed page, and they inevitably come to regard any other unsanctioned page as a possible threat. Oppression extracts not just a terrible human toll, but it also subtracts the words and images of the writers/artists who hold and express the cultural memory of any people.
We are extending our call to letterpress printers to contribute a personal response to the bombing on al-Mutanabbi Street.
You can view broadsides from artists from the first call at the Florida Atlantic University/Jaffe Center for Book Arts site:
The second and third calls for works will also be archived on the website.
We would like to invite more artists from around the world to add to the archive, to bring the total to 130 broadsides, which is the approximate number of people killed and wounded on al-Mutanabbi Street that day.
We are interested in a personal response from YOU. Your own writing, or the writing of poets in combination with powerful visuals can speak to the commonality of al-Mutanabbi Street with our own streets.
Can you contribute a broadside print?
We are asking each printer to contribute at least fifteen signed and numbered broadsides so that we can make sets and sell them. Proceeds will benefit Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). Broadsides should be between 9" x 12" and 12" x 18" (portrait or landscape orientation).
Paper is the choice and responsibility of the printer. One example of an artist’s contribution from the UK is David Kirby’s which can be seen at: http://www.t8gallery.com/page36.htm
Please be certain that copyright permission is held for any work you undertake; we will be unable to include the broadside in the sets for sale if copyright is not indicated. The content is your choice.
Deadline for the Broadsides: April 15th 2009
If you are interested in participating, please email Lisa Beth Robinson at: email@example.com to be added to an email list and receive information as it develops, and we will know how many broadsides to plan to receive.
Thanks, and we look forward to working together.
For further information contact:
Coordinator of al-Mutanabbi Street Broadside Project, Lisa Beth Robinson, at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Beau Beausoleil at: email@example.com
Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here.
UK / European artists who would like to contribute, to save postage costs to the USA, you can send your prints to Sarah Bodman (by 10th April 2009), to be sent on at no cost to you, at:
Centre for Fine Print Research, UWE, Bristol,
School of Creative Arts,
Kennel Lodge Road,
BS3 2JT, UK
Tel: 0117 32 84915
Please email Sarah.Bodman@uwe.ac.uk to say they are coming when you send them.