Al Mutanabbi Street Starts Here

Al Mutanabbi Street Starts Here

Al Mutanabbi Street Starts Here represents the topic Freedom of Expression by means of an extensive exhibition, workshops, readings, panels, film showings, and other features as determined by the various individual host sites


Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here is a response by writers, printers, printmakers and book artists to the bombing of Baghdad’s ancient street of booksellers, and as an exhibition and project, it has and is scheduled to tour on the East coast in Cambridge, MA, the Center for Book Arts, NY, the Newark Public Library,NJ, the Jaffee Center in Florida, and George Mason University and partners in 2016. By that year we imagine hosting 100 broadsides, over 300 books and approximately 50 prints.

Please read more about the scope of the project at this website:

and see books at:

As the coordinator George Mason University, I will be extending an invitation to host sites for the exhibition in a mutual relationship with other academic and non-profit institutions, libraries and cafes, etc. in the area. 

Co-founder Beau Beusoleil reminds us: “One of the continuing struggles of this project is to not just look back to [the bombing of]  al-Mutanabbi Street on March 5, 2007, but also to look around us and to register and be aware of what our sisters and brothers in Iraq, for whom we have dedicated our work, are going through on a daily basis.  

It is unbearable and heart wrenching to read the daily reports out of Baghdad and from other cities in Iraq. I feel the streets of Baghdad traverse every worktable of every artist and writer in this [world-wide] project.

It’s important for all of us to state, both privately and publicly, that this project, and its members, stand shoulder to shoulder with the Iraqi cultural community of artists and writers, and that we will not look away from all of this, and we will not stop talking about al-Mutanabbi Street and how close it is to all of our lives everywhere. We will be stating that Al-Mutanabbi Street runs in front of every reading, exhibit, and panel that this project creates or engenders is to help others remember that we all stand on this same shared cultural street.”

The real overview of the project will enable us all to stand as witnesses and in solidarity with Al-Mutanabbi Street and all it represents to the Iraqi people.

Helen C. Frederick
Professor, School of Art
Coordinator, Printmaking
Director, Navigation Press
School of Art and Design
George Mason University
4400 University Drive MS1C3
Fairfax, Virginia 22030

Director Emeritus Pyramid Atlantic
www.helenfrederick.comCurator, Breakthrough Art Organization