Ama Bolton UK

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On 19 July 2014, Beau Beausoleil e-mailed every member of the Al-Mutanabbi Street Coalition. He made a few suggestions for action, including one that leapt off the screen at me:

Print up a bookmark that says, “Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here” and paste/post it up at your local bus stop, university, gallery, library, publisher, book shop, cafe …

That same day I picked up a book I’d been given around thirty years ago and found unreadable: The Way of Divine Union by A.E.Waite, first published in 1860. I spotted some promising words and embarked on an erasure project, two bookmarks per page. I painted over everything except the words I wanted to keep. I laminated each bookmark to prevent damage to books.
My bookmarks have been smuggled into local and far-off libraries, by me and by other members of the Coalition. Some of them will probably sit there unseen for years. Others will be found and immediately thrown away. A few readers may be sufficiently intrigued to find out what it’s all about, and read about this amazing project that has brought hundreds of writers and artists together to ensure that what was lost on Al-Mutanabbi Street on 5 March 2007 will not be forgotten.
The bookmarks are marked on one side Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here and on the other they preserve gnomic fragments of text reminiscent of the I Ching, the Chinese Book of Changes.
Wells 6 

Photo: Catherine Cartwright
Photo: Catherine Cartwright

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