Cities & Routes – Alphabet Road

 

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Alphabet Road

Alphabet Road

It is no coincidence that Alphabet Road constitutes the first part of the project. It all began during a journey from Berlin via Vienna, Sarajevo, Skopje, Istanbul, Beirut, Jerusalem, Ramallah and Haifa to Cairo – the reverse of the route that the alphabet and the book-based religions have taken. Indeed, teachings and scriptures would have developed differently without the book-based religions. I selected cities that flourished during an era of intellectual exchange and experienced a decline as soon as ethnic, religious or political groups authoritatively asserted their influence and violence and marginalisation prevailed.

From 10th September 2007 to 14th January 2008 I travelled through three continents (Africa, Asia, Europe), covered a distance of 10 688 Km and in doing so crossed 27 national borders. 14 schools in 10 cities and 8 printing workshops in 8 different countries became involved in Deskxistence Alphabet Road. The result is 136 unique prints; gravures of scratched desktops on 100 m handmade paper.

The numerous encounters through negotiations with school directors, conversations with teachers and pupils, the search for print workshops and the realisation of three exhibitions during the journey are all an integral part of the project. In addition, I gave three lectures in universities and several art lessons in schools.