on katherine boo’s beyond the beautiful forevers; spiking myth of india’s inpenetrability

“Katherine Boo’s debut about the vertiginousness of existence in a “Mumbai slum” is the antidote to mainstream books and films on the subject from the English-speaking world.”

Behind the Beautiful Forevers, By Katherine Boo.

Portobello, £14.99

GUY MANNES-ABBOTT

on in ramallah, running – cover artwork, advance info., etc.

In Ramallah, Running cover artwork – click on image to expand

In Ramallah, Running

Guy Mannes-Abbott

Edited by Guy Mannes-Abbott and Samar Martha

Introduction by Jean Fisher

Contributions from Jananne al-Ani, Francis Alÿs, Najwan Darwish, Emily Jacir, Olaf Nicolai, Paul Noble, Khalil Rabah, Adania Shibli, Mark Titchner, Sharif Waked.

Co-produced by ArtSchool Palestine & Sharjah Art Foundation

Published by Black Dog

“I read it in one breath. A cunning simplicity of writing the complexity of today’s Palestine, through the alleys, roads, streets, hills, valleys, days and evenings in and around Ramallah, charged me with love of the art of writing, of Palestine… You showed me my place and made me hear my story. I loved the piece without limits.”

Mourid Barghouti, Palestinian Poet and author of classics memoirs; I Saw Ramallah & I Was Born There, I Was Born Here.

In Ramallah, Running represents Guy Mannes-Abbott’s uniquely personal encounter with Palestine, interweaving short, poetic texts with exploratory essays. International artists and prominent writers have been invited to respond both directly and indirectly to the texts with newly commissioned works.

The principal text is a series in 14 parts, alternating running within the limits of the city and walking out from it to, along, beyond and off limits, discovering how insidiously mobile those limits are under Occupation. With singular style and compelling force, Mannes-Abbott generates a very special intimacy with a rarely seen or experienced Palestine; the actual place itself, the people in their place.

Jean Fisher contributes a substantial introductory essay, while the poet and critic Najwan Darwish and novelist Adania Shibli have written further captivating responses. Visual contributions include a project linked to a pair of paintings by Francis Alÿs, drawings of stoney aridity with ambiguous structures by Paul Noble, and a searingly intimate journal-based piece by Emily Jacir. Jananne al-Ani, Khalil Rabah and Mark Titchner contribute varying photography-based projects focused on the place and its relationship to the body and word. Olaf Nicolai contributes an angular text-based project and Sharif Waked highlights the abysmal ambiguities of the political context.

In Ramallah, Running
Paperback
160 pages
32 colour plus b/w ills
26.0 x 19.0 cm
10.20 x 7.5 in
ISBN 978 1 907317 67 5

NB: Advance proofs of the book have arrived and are really quite beautiful Continue reading “on in ramallah, running – cover artwork, advance info., etc.”

on cabbage love; from gordon matta-clark to forest food

I’ve always felt there were many uses for a ‘Gordon Matta-Clark’ and can only approach life, especially urban life, as or through art in the broadest sense, that sense being not a Marxian one but a making something-from-nothing one. I’m [to a fault] less interested in exploiting my own having-made something-from-nothing -except to the extent of being able to make it in the first place and make something else subsequently! Only an idiot wouldn’t be interested in or cognisant of the abysmal world of surplus value, however there is a certain idiocy in being transfixed by it too…

One use for a Gordon Matta-Clark is to help think through the question of whether art can be food or food art. The answer is obviously in the affirmative but I have something quite specific in mind. Food, itself. As such. The piece that was also a place which was also a community-borne restaurant called Food, that is. Continue reading “on cabbage love; from gordon matta-clark to forest food”

on watching charles fourier dance, time to sit down and read?

Pauline Boty – butterflying?!

Reading Adam Curtis’ blog on Occupy London Stock Exchange and the broader protest, with its clips and pics of Pauline and gang dancing in the mid-Sixties, made the thought of coming across images of Charles Fourier and gang [or just Charles!] dancing at any time peculiarly enticing! Continue reading “on watching charles fourier dance, time to sit down and read?”

on my review of mourid barghouti’s i was born there… in today’s Independent

Screenshot 2018-03-12 10.30.56

MB by Rex Features The Independent
Horror, and happiness: Mourid Barghouti ( Rex Features )

I Was Born There, I Was Born Here,

By Mourid Barghouti, trans. Humphrey Davies

GUY MANNES-ABBOTT | FRIDAY 04 NOVEMBER 2011

 

Mourid Barghouti’s first volume of memoir, I Saw Ramallah, is a classic of the genre and a uniquely clear-eyed account of returning home after 30 years of serial expulsion. Barghouti is also the poet of displacement in general as well as its specific Palestinian form. In between the first and this second volume of memoir came Midnight & Other Poems – a first selection from many volumes of his poetry.

I Saw Ramallah wove a life of enforced absences into a moment of return to that city and the author’s home village of Deir Ghassanah in 1996, with prose of poetic concision. It ended with Barghouti recrossing an indelibly memorialised bridge over the Jordan river to collect a permit for his son Tamim, so they could return together. “He will see it. He will see me in it, and we shall ask all the questions after that.”

I Was Born… is that collection of “questions” Continue reading “on my review of mourid barghouti’s i was born there… in today’s Independent”

on mourid barghouti’s i was born there, i was born here due 7 Nov in UK

Deir Ghassanah from the restored ‘ruins of al Khawas’ tomb & masjid [Ph. G Mannes-Abbott 2010]

The much anticipated arrival in English of a second volume of Mourid Barghouti’s memoirs is now close enough to touch… Indeed, I have it here in my happy fingers. My efforts to try to read it in Arabic, with only a basic grasp of the language, met an honourable end without ever getting close to the uniquely precise presence of its author in his words…

Publication of I Was Born There, I was Born Here is November 7th and Mourid will be appearing at Oxford University, the Bristol Festival of Ideas, and London’s Southbank Centre. I’m reserving comment on the book for reasons that will become clear, but if you’ve never seen Mourid’s words come to life in his voice right in front of you then waste no time in getting hold of a seat or a ticket at these events… Continue reading “on mourid barghouti’s i was born there, i was born here due 7 Nov in UK”

on a hand made dummy of in ramallah, running -pre design meet

My hand-made and -cut rough mock-up of In Ramallah, Running this night…

I can’t  resist sharing my pleasure at having assembled all the elements of In Ramallah, Running in hard form for the first time tonight in preparation for a big design and layout meeting tomorrow. It’s very strange to materialise something that has existed in my mind as a project and proposal, then a place and people as well as a piece of my own inevitably elliptical work, before becoming a project once more with a range of very special people responding to and contributing work to the book, for all of that to eventually come together from all over the world and now to have a dummy of it in my fingers and see that it is pretty much as conceived -albeit only held together by a single bulldog clip- except that it’s so much better in actuality! Continue reading “on a hand made dummy of in ramallah, running -pre design meet”