Al-Mutanabbi
Street Broadsides
  Al-Mutanabbi Street Coalition project
––one of only ten in the world––

Bloodstained Pages











Artist's Statement

Our inspiration for this project arose out of our disgust with US intervention in the Middle East, and from the compelling details of the Al-Mutanabbi bombing and its direct relationship to our mutual passion: printing and visual communication.

Our goal with this piece was to combine word and image in a way that would communicate the visceral nature of the March 5 bombing. We also wanted to highlight the plight of the thousands of invisible Iraqi civilian casualties who remain largely anonymous to Americans. Some of these individuals, murdered on that day, were booksellers who made their living on Al-Mutanabbi Street.

Three sets of broadsides were printed for this project, using a combination of techniques that reflects the history and evolution of the printing process. The first special edition of fifteen was printed on Stonehenge Warm White 250gsm printmaking paper. The image of the bloodstained book was printed first, using Inkworks’ KPG-DI 5034 four-color waterless offset press. The colophonwas printed at Inkworks also, using a Heidelberg Printmaster QM-46/2. The two-color letterpress text followed, printed at the Center for the Book using photopolymer plates on a Vandercook Universal 1 and an SP-15. Finally, a silk varnish was applied by hand to the image of the book.

The second edition (of 50) was printed in the same manner, but on New Leaf Paper’s 100% postconsumer waste recycled Everest Natural 80# cover. And the third edition (of 200) was printed offset only on that same stock.

All of the offset work was done at and generously donated by Inkworks Press in Berkeley. The letterpress printing was done by Cloven Hoof Press at the Center for the Book in San Francisco. Many thanks to New Leaf Paper for their generous donation as well.