Bill Denham & Kim Vanderheiden, Diameter of the Bomb
Bill Denham & Kim Vanderheiden, Diameter of the Bomb

Storytellers is a companion digital exhibition to Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here that examines the role of narrative in artists’ responses to the bombing of al-Mutanabbi Street. As a digital and interpretive extension of the physical exhibition, Storytellers is available as a web site and as an exhibition on the Magic Board, Hampshire’s projection gallery. Storytellers was curated by Svetlana Zwetkof (Mount Holyoke College) and Lisa DeAbreu (State University of New York College of Buffalo), with the support of the Institute for Curatorial Practice paid Internship Program, funded by grants from Samuel H. Kress Foundation and the Five College Mellon Digital Humanities Program.

Individual experience colors how people approach complex events such as the bombing of al-Mutanabbi Street. We are interested in the narrative quality of the Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here project and the way this reflects and is reflected by these opposing viewpoints, the different individual narratives expressed by the artworks. Narrative is integral to this project: books and broadsides both rely heavily on text in order to capture particular sentiments, whether more propagandistic in nature and appearance, or more experiential, like the literal unfolding of a book. Different modes of storytelling likewise interact narratively—this story is now being told internationally: its ownership and licensure are no longer local or original, but have been adopted for a global story. We believe that the way a story is told makes a great difference in how the story is perceived.
—Sveltana Zwetkof & Lisa DeAbreu

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