Al-Mutanabbi Street was/is one of the main bookselling markets in Baghdad, and was hit with a car bomb on March 5, 2007, killing 26 people. At first I was struggling with how to represent something so traumatic, both on a human and cultural scale. I tried to create an image that messaged rebirth and hope, but not in a way that failed to acknowledge the damage and destruction done by both local terror and U.S. terror. Nor do I want to over-play any sense of rejuvenation—which will be long and painful, and is no simple process. The arms I created are ghostly, the books are both those of the past, and hopefully those of the future. The fight is to make them less translucent, more opaque, solid, and permanent.
This print was created as part of the Al-Mutannabi Street Starts Here print portfolio project.