*Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here:

In Defense of Culture
Event detail

On March 5th 2007, a car bomb exploded in the book sellers district, Al-Mutanabbi Street, in Baghdad. Like many stories of devastation this one may have passed by with one horrified gasp but for an independent bookseller in San Francisco who saw in this particular act a microcosm of all monstrosities: an act of terror to be sure but also an attack on culture. Beau Beausoleil, working from his bookstore in the Sunset district, sent a plea to the cultural world to stand in solidarity with the victims of this tragedy and preserve its memory. The project has been embraced by poets, broadside printers, artist book makers, and printmakers from 25 countries.

This exhibition at the San Francisco Public Library focuses on printmaking and the work of over fifty artists from around the world in response to this bombing. Beausoleil and print maker Art Hazelwood worked with printmakers and acted as coordinators inviting, to date, some 200 participants. A large number of artists are from the Bay Area. Well known political poster artists, Nancy Hom, and Leon Sun; cartoonist and graphic novelists Kahlil Bendib, Grendl Lofkfist and Rik Olson; printmakers from the Berkeley based Kala Art Institute and the San Francisco Graphic Arts Workshop, including Jessica Dunne, Kazuko Watanabe and Gloria Morales. There are several prints from Katya McCulloch’s printmaking class at San Quentin State Prison.

Also, see our sister exhibition Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here - Transcendent Hope, City College of San Francisco Library, which includes artist books and broadsides in addition to prints, October 24, 2016 through April 16, 2017

Sponsored by the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library, Zaytuna College, South Bay Islamic Association, Council on American Islamic Relations, Middle East Children’s Alliance.

Opening Event: September 25, 1:00, artist Art Hazelwood, Kahlil Bendib, and others discuss their work.

Literary Event: December 4, 1:00, Latino Hispanic Community Room

Join us when Deema Shehabi, Art Hazelwood, Zaid Shlah, Cathy DeForest,  Fred Norman, Grendl Lofkvist, Felicia Rice, Katya McCulloch, Esther Kamkar, Elly Simmons, and Beau Beausoleil read and discuss their work.

In recognition of the wealth of cultures and peoples stemming from the Middle East that reside in the Bay Area, the Library offers a diverse array of programs for all ages throughout the month of September.

Upcoming Events

Lunar New Year: The Traditions and Symbolism
Wednesday, January 24, 2018, 6:30 pm
North Beach, North Beach Meeting Room
The Making of Mapping
Thursday, January 25, 2018, 6:00 pm
Teotihuacan: City of Water, City of Fire with the de Young Museum
Saturday, January 27, 2018, 2:00 pm
Main Library, Children's General Floor Area - 2nd Fl

More related events

Upcoming Classes

Freezer Paper Stencils
Saturday, February 10, 2018, 2:00 pm
North Beach, North Beach General Floor Area
Mission Digital Photography Group
Wednesday, February 14, 2018, 6:30 pm
Mission, Mission General Floor Area

Current Exhibits

Asian Brush Painting Sumi-e
Through Wednesday, February 28, 2018
West Portal, West Portal General Floor Area
Alcatraz: Day into Night
Through Thursday, January 18, 2018
Main Library, Art, Music & Recreation Center
We’re Just People
Through Thursday, February 1, 2018
Main Library, LGBTQIA Center Exhibit Space

More related exhibits

*Funded by Friends of the San Francisco Public Library.

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