The new exhibition on the third floor of Butler Library is a powerful collection of over 50 works by book artists responding to the tragic bombing of Al-Mutanabbi Street, the centuries-old center of book selling in Baghdad, on March 5, 2007. There was an international call to book artists, and there so many responses, it's taken five New York venues to display them all: the Center for Book Arts, Alwan for the Arts, International Print Center New York, Poets House and Columbia University Libraries.
The books on display at Columbia reflect on intellectual freedom, human rights and violence in a time of war. The project was organized by Beau Beausoleil, the Founder of the Al-Mutanabbi Street Coalition, and Sara Bodman (more on the project here); the New York manifestation of the exhibition was organized by the Center for Book Arts; and the Columbia exhibition was coordinated by the CUL/IS Global Studies Division and the Center for Human Rights Documentation & Research.
The exhibition will be on display on the third floor of Butler Library until September 21, 2013.
RBML's collection contains one of the books on display downstairs: Emily Martin's Not a Straight Line (Iowa City: Naughty Dog Press, 2011). The ten little codices are erratically linked together, their meandering path reminding the reader of the ancient Al-Mutanabbi street.