Al-Mutanabbi-ImageFrom March 6 to July 12, the Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here exhibition will be on display at the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn.

The Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here Collection, founded by San Francisco bookseller Beau Beausoleil in the weeks after the bombing, includes broadsides, artist books, prints and an anthology of essays and poetry. Exhibits have been held at venues in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and The Netherlands; an exhibit is currently on extended run at the American University in Cairo. The broadsides are owned by the Iraq National Library and were displayed on Al-Mutanabbi Street in 2013.


More on the project. 

Among the Detroit artists represented  are Kathleen Rashid, Lynne Avadenka, Toby Millman and Erin Schmidt-Celian.


Kathleen Rashid says of herself: “My work kind of reflects two sides of myself. I’m a painter on the one hand, I also make very large puppets that I used in street demonstrations, usually to protest war, injustice generally.”

Mother, 2007 Papier-mâché.



On the piece “Mother”, she comments: “reflects more that side that has to deal with the political realities that we live in right now. I made the mask that I’m exhibiting specifically to protest the war in Iraq, Afghanistan, the occupation in Palestine, all the wars and violence in the world right now that we’re complicit in as citizens of the United States, that we’re forced to be complicit in. It invades every realm of life, so it invades the realm of my art making.”


More on Kathleen Rashid’s work.

The exhibition will be co-ordinated by Alise Alousi, a first-generation Iraqi-American poet and creator of a Detroit book arts festival. According to Wikipedia, Alousi is associate director of InsideOut Literary Arts Project, a creative writing program serving Detroit’s youth and her work has recently appeared in Inclined to Speak: An Anthology of Contemporary Arab American Poetry. You can find her tumblr here.

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