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BACKGROUND: In March 2007, tragedy struck the heart and soul of Baghdad’s cultural and intellectual community. Al Mutanabbi Street was destroyed by a car bomb which killed over thirty people and wounded more than one hundred. The winding street filled with bookshops and outdoor stalls has for centuries been a meeting place for poets, political dissidents and literary aficionados, and is named after the famous 10th century classical Arab poet, Al-Mutanabbi.
In response to the attack, a San Francisco bookseller, Beau Beausoleil, rallied a community of international artists and writers to produce “Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here” -- a collection of letterpress-printed broadsides (poster-like works on paper), artists’ books (unique works of art in book form), and an anthology of writing, all focused on expressing solidarity with Iraqi booksellers, writers and readers.
In November of 2014, it will be IUPUI's privilege to permanently host the only U.S. repository of the "Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here" collection as well as an inaugural symposium - a series of workshops and lectures - to create a bridging intellectual dialogue between members of every community.
On November 17th, there will be a presentation by Randa Jarrar in the Basile Auditorium in Herron School of Art & Design hosted by the IUPUI Arts & Humanities Institute, IUPUI University Library, and the Rufus & Louise Reiberg Reading Series. Tickets to this presentation are free, but registration is required.
Randa Jarrar is an award-winning novelist, short story writer, essayist, and translator. In 2010, a collaborative project between the , Beirut UNESCO’s 2009 celebrations, magazine and the recognized her as a member of the Beirut39 — 39 of the world’s most promising Arab writers under the age of 39. Jarrar grew up in Kuwait and Egypt, and moved to the US after the first Gulf War. Her first novel, , has been published in half a dozen languages and won a Hopwood Award, an Arab-American Book Award, and was named one of the best novels of 2008 by the Barnes and Noble Review. Her work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The Utne Reader, Salon.com,Guernica, The Rumpus, The Oxford American, Ploughshares, Five Chapters, and others.She has received fellowships from the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, Hedgebrook, Caravansarai, and Eastern Frontier.
Friday, November 14, 2014
11:00 Student pizza party with keynote speaker, Beau Beausoleil at Herron Library
Monday, November 17, 2014
11:00 -12:00 Registration
12:00-1:30 Opening keynote/lunch with Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here coalition founder Beau Beausoleil
1:45-2:30 Beyond Daftir: Iraqi Visual Art Today. Talk by Nada Shabout, University of North Texas
2:30-3:30 Artist Panel: Bookarts as Social Change Agent
3:45-4:45 The Power of Art to Serve a Lasting and Activist Role with local artists engaged in social activism, including Karen Baldner, Anila Agha, Barbara Hosein, Nina Ardery.
5:15-7:00 Gallery talk with Beau Beausoleil. Reception and poetry readings.
7:00-8:30 IUPUI Arts & Humanities Institute (free) presentation featuring Palestinian-American author Randa Jarrar. (This event requires a separate registration: click here.)
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
8:00 Symposium registration
8:30-10:00 Iraqi Women: Aesthetics and Politics in a Time of War. Community breakfast & talk by international scholar Nadje Al-Ali of the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies.
10:15-11:00 The Role of the Libraries to Preserve Culture, moderated by Dean David Lewis of the IUPUI University Library.
Program Schedule (updated 11/13):
Check the IUPUI Al-Mutanabbi website for detailed information on sessions:
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