‘A nation will fall into ruin if its people do not read books.’ Hassan Ali Karen Apps
The books were made in response to the tragic events of Spring 2007 in al-Mutanabbi Street.
The Breakthrough to Literacy folder references the present shortage of books and texts available to libraries, schools and universities in Iraq.
A book can carry ideas accessed through learning to read. First words then sentences that can be rearranged to make new meanings. We experience the freedom of turning thought into text. We can share ideas with others. We learn. So how do we arrive at a place where words are so threatening as to provoke such atrocities?
Each book contains the same words to create one of three quotations relating to the act of reading. The words are not fixed and there is the potential to make new meanings.
The brown paper slipcovers suggest the wrappings of a purchase but also the supply of forbidden goods sold from ‘under the counter’.
‘You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get the people to stop reading them.’ Ray Bradbury
‘Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.’ Frederick Douglass
‘A nation will fall into ruin if its people do not read books.’ Hassan Ali Bookseller, al-Mutanabbi Street