*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.

This program is part of SWANA at the Library, honoring the diverse cultures, traditions and histories of Southwest Asian and North African heritage. All events are free and open to the public.

Upcoming Events

Welcome to SFMOMA!
Thursday, June 21, 2018, 12:30 pm
Welcome to SFMOMA!
Friday, June 22, 2018, 12:30 pm
Creative Card Making & Letter Writing
Saturday, June 23, 2018, 10:30 am
North Beach, North Beach Meeting Room

More related events

Upcoming Classes

Adobe Photoshop: Good to Go!
Thursday, July 19, 2018, 6:00 pm
Main Library, 5th Floor Computer Training Ctr.

Current Exhibits

Degenderettes Antifa Art
Through Thursday, July 19, 2018
Main Library, LGBTQIA Center Exhibit Space
Christopher Felver
Through Sunday, June 24, 2018
Main Library, Jewett Gallery
Potrero: 1980s
Through Thursday, August 23, 2018
Main Library, Music Center - 4th Floor

*Funded by Friends of the San Francisco Public Library.

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