I received a notification today – a picture of “The Diameter of the Bomb” broadside (I don’t know which one) that Bill Denham and I collaborated on was accepted into the book, “For the Love of Letterpress.” by Martha Chiplis and Cathie Ruggie Saunders, to be published by Bloomsbury, coming out in the UK in August and US in October of this year. Here are some photos of the work, which was created for the “Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here” project, lead by Beau Beausoleil, owner of The Great Overland Book Company. It’s a really incredible project that has grown from artists responses to the bombing of Al-Mutanabbi Street in Baghdad on March 5th of 2007. Al-Mutanabbi Street, eponymously named for a beloved Iraqi poet, is the book market, a gathering place for the sharing of ideas, and a haunt of writers and artists. The attack was seen by many as an attempt to surpress speech and open thinking. No one claimed responsibility for the car bomb that was parked outside of the Shahbandar coffeehouse that day. More than 30 people died and 100 were wounded.
This project has grown wings around the world. Hundreds of broadsides and books have been created, and a complete set of the broadsides has been received at the Iraqi National Library. Most exhibition spaces are too small to carry the whole of the project, in which case smaller selections of work have been provided. If you are interested, or know of a venue who is interested in showing any part of these works, please contact me, and I’ll put you in touch with the right people.
Here’s listing of some of the links to places who have written about the project. (If you have a moment to click through The Economist pictures, you will find both this broadside and another by our cohort, Bettina Pauly, fellow printer in our studio, Painted Tongue Press.:
Credits: Poem “The Diameter of the Bomb” is by Yehuda Amachai, translated by Chana Bloch. The broadside design, layout, and illustration is by Kim Vanderheiden. The printing and assembly was done by Bill Denham. Bill’s paper sculptures were also an inspiration for the structure of the piece. Photographs by Luz Marina Ruiz.