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Celebrating Iraqi First-Time Authors

Posted on October 15, 2012 by

On September 12, 2012, IARP and partners hosted a reception for Iraqis in Minnesota who participated in book-making workshops organized by IARP, the Veterans Book Project, and The Advocates for Human Rights. Many of the authors are refugees. Some are students. All created books telling their stories.

The books will soon be available online through IARP’s website, www.iraqiartproject.org.

IARP partnered with the Veterans Book Project to produce the books with the Iraqis:

The Veterans Book Project (VBP) is a library of books authored collaboratively between artist Monica Haller and individuals experiencing the recent American-led wars. Many books are by veterans–one is by a mother, another by a brother whose sibling was killed in combat. Some books are by Iraqis–a medical student, a refugee recently arrived in the United States. They are the authors, the experts. Each individual book (as a vehicle of history and memory, stable yet mobile) re-deploys volatile images with the aim of re-articulating and refashioning memories. Each book stands alone, first disseminated by its author, and then becomes part of the larger VBP library shared in museums and public libraries.

Along with the books, several Iraqis in Minnesota produced short films that will also soon be available at www.iraqiartproject.org. Each short documentary film is the result of collaboration between the producer and filmmaker Nathan Fisher, designed to be used as an educational tool for Americans.

A curriculum incorporating both books and videos is currently being developed by The Advocates for Human Rights.

Thank you to the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Columbia Heights High School, and the Minnesota State Arts Board. This activity is made possible in part by a grant provided by the Minnesota State Arts Board through an appropriation by the Minnesota State Legislature from the state’s arts and cultural heritage fund with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on November 4, 2008.

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