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

Books Don't Die

Artist's Statement

This broadside is a document of my search for names of people killed in the Al-Mutanabbi Street bombing. I searched about 50 articles for names to put on the spines of the books on the broadside. I had a lot of trouble finding any specific names at all, and decided to leave blank spines to show that space.

This project was about trying to connect to the event in some personal way to the events, and I found myself drawing the same sketch of a solid block of books over and over again in my notebook. I drew in the diagonal lines of the books in each broadside to try to link each broadside to the sketches in my notebook. There is something about the contrast of the image of the solid object of a book to the shattered feeling this event gives me. There is a lasting part of each person and book that is killed that needs to be remembered and protected and memorialized in some way. I would like to mention that Judith Butler’s “Violence, Mourning, Politics” from her book Precarious Life was resonating in my mind during this project. Butler discusses how names of people killed in Iraq are almost never published in American media, while American soldiers’ names are constantly memorialized. She writes, “But at what cost do I establish the familiar as the criterion by which a human life is grievable?”