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

Ideas as bright as bulbs...

 

 

Artist's Statement

The Al-Mutanabbi Street Broadside Project allowed us, as artists and writers, the opportunity to add to the rich and varied conversation surrounding the tragedy that sparked the project. Through this work, we hope to present our own unique view of the situation as students and as lovers and defenders of intellectual freedom worldwide. We recognize and are moved by the tragedy of what happened on Al-Mutanabbi Street, but chose to focus on the strength and endurance of surviving and moving past such an event, instead of dwelling in the sorrow and sadness. In the piece we focus on a need to see past the desolation and tragedy, and strive to bring the rebuilding and rebirth that occurs after such terrible disasters to the forefront. The concluding line of our poem speaks as a metaphor for rising above— we cannot dwell in tragedy, an idea which is reflected in the design of our broadside. The healing process requires strength to start again, something that this project calls for in both remembering and rebuilding our literary and cultural heritage. Our broadside puts forth the idea of fire as both a destructive and rebuilding element, both themes which are mirrored in the premise of the project: people coming together to memorialize and rebuild a community through the spreading of ideas, just as fire spreads itself accross a landscape.

We are grateful to Casey Smith, our teacher and encourager, for bringing this project to our attention, and to the organizers for allowing us to participate in such a distinct and meaningful artistic and intellectual event. Our broadside was printed on a Vandercook model 4 Letterpress on Rives BFK cream with a chine-collé of handmade paper in an edition of 21.