Liana Nagle writes:
For this project I was inspired by the ability of humans to bounce back after a heinous tragedy and how the artist community gathers together to spark inspiration to rebuild and heal. This resilience reminded me of phoenix, a creature from Greek mythology that bursts into flames at the end of its life span, and is reborn from those ashes to start life anew. I wanted to create bookmarks that resembled phoenix feathers while having aesthetics that are reminiscent of literature. I used rolled up pages of paper for the spine of the feathers and splattered black ink on both sides of the feather. I burned the ends of the feather spine to resemble the start of the phoenix process of being reborn. On the back I stroked black ink in a feather pattern and wrote “Al Mutanabbi Street Starts Here” in the same ink. I wanted the color palette used in the bookmark feathers to resemble fire and ash, with the front of the feather featuring the color, and the back painted in dark greys to represent the cycle of the phoenix and the cycle that the citizens of Iraq and the artist community went through to rebirth from the ashes.
Sam Lyman writes:
I think that this was a great project because I was able to take the horrific events that happened on Al-Mutanabbi Street and put a sense of hope into it. Even though bookstores were destroyed, the idea of the written word can’t really be erased. The same goes for the people that were killed. I tried to show this in some of my bookmarks and wanted to stress the idea that books, poetry, and people can’t be forgotten.
John Kim writes:
The emotions and feelings of the people after the bombing was my focus when creating these bookmarks. The emotions used were agony, fear, depression, sadness, and anger, leading to chaos. The colors represent the emotional states, the steadiness and unsteadiness of the people affected by the attack. The suffering and remembrance of the people who died can also be found illustrated in these bookmarks.
Liv Andrew writes:
The event of Al Mutanabbi Street had such a large scale effect on those unseen that I
wanted to provide a “voice” and figure to them. The rest of the world seems to not understand the devastation of an event until they connect a body to it, so that is what I did. In order to hold a higher impact, I purposely left the identity of the model skewed. This allows the observer to attach a figure to the event, without making it a personal connection between the viewer and the model. Each bookmark shows a different emotion and reaction caused by the Al Mutanabbi bombing through body language; the one language that is understood around the world. I wanted to make sure that wherever my bookmarks landed, no matter the viewers native tongue, the pain, sadness, anguish, and horror was clear. Human nature is to care and take care. My hope is that these images stir up this feeling within the bookmarks holders and push them to educate themselves on Al Mutanabbi. May it never happen again, and the written word always live on.