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Al-Mutanabbi Street in Manchester

February 8, 2013


As a member of the Al-Mutanabbi-Street Coalition, I am delighted to tell you about the first exhibition in the UK of all the books made for the project. I’ll report back when I’ve been to see it.

An Inventory of Al-Mutanabbi Street
The John Rylands Library, 150 Deansgate, Manchester M3 3EH.

6 February – 9 July 2013.

Opening hours

12noon – 5pm

Tuesday – Saturday
10am – 5pm

12noon – 5pm

The John Rylands Library is a magnificent neo-gothic building with Arts and Crafts details, designed by Basil Champneys in 1890. It houses a quarter of a million books and over a million manuscripts.

Sarah Bodman writes: “This exhibition is the result of a project by poet Beau Beausoleil and artist Sarah Bodman to ‘re-assemble’ the ‘inventory’ of reading material that was lost in the car-bombing of Al-Mutanabbi Street on 5 March 2007 – an attack in which more than 30 people died and more than 100 were wounded. Book artists from around the world were asked to produce works which reflected both the strength and the fragility of books, but also showed the endurance of the ideas within them, in response to the attack on the heart and soul of the Baghdad literary and intellectual community.”

Curator tour: Tuesday 5 March 1-2pm. Free walking tour of the exhibition with Sarah Bodman, Angie Butler and Pauline Lamont-Fisher on the 6th anniversary of the bombing. I hope to see you there!

“The project is both a lament and a commemoration of the singular power of words. We hope that these books will make visible the literary bridge that connects us, made of words and images that move back and forth between the readers in Iraq and ourselves.” – The al-Mutanabbi Street Coalition

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