A New Beginning layered print with tissu
English text on Hope.jpg
Arabic text on Hope.jpg
exploding flowers.png

Al Mutanabbi...

On 5 March, 2007, a car bomb destroyed Baghdad's book-selling centre, Mutanabbi Street, and killed 26 people. The bomb might have stopped the flow of knowledge on the street. However, a bomb can not kill ideas.

Mutanabbi Street is located near Baghdad's old quarter, in Iraq. Named after the 10th-century poet Al-Mutanabbi, this is the historic center of Baghdad bookselling and synonymous with the sharing of knowledge and ideas. A year after the car bomb's devastation, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki officially reopened the street. In 2012, Deema Shehabi and Beau Beausoleil edited an anthology, 'Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here', of people's responses to the bombing. Later, Beau inspired and curated a global print-making response that was displayed in the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC and Exeter Library, UK, among other galleries.

My response, 'A New Beginning', is inspired by the explosive forms of flowers, echoing how nature takes the earliest opportunity to replenish and grow once more.  The stamens of these flowers share phrases of hope in Arabic and English.  Printed on delicate tissue tendrils, as if exploding through the explosion and tentatively testing out a new beginning... 

A New Beginning