Baghdad: The City in Verse captures the essence of life lived in one of the world’s great enduring metropolises. In this unusual anthology, Reuven Snir offers original translations of more than 170 Arabic poems—most of them appearing for the first time in English—which represent a cross-section of genres and styles from the time of Baghdad’s founding in the eighth century to the present day. The diversity of the fabled city is reflected in the Bedouin, Muslim, Christian, Kurdish, and Jewish poets featured here, including writers of great renown and others whose work has survived but whose names are lost to history.Through the prism of these poems, readers glimpse many different Baghdads: the city built on ancient Sumerian ruins, the epicenter of Arab culture and Islam’s Golden Age under the enlightened rule of Harun al-Rashid, the bombed-out capital of Saddam Hussein’s fallen regime, the American occupation, and life in a new but unstable Iraq. With poets as our guides, we visit bazaars, gardens, wine parties, love scenes (worldly and mystical), brothels, prisons, and palaces. Startling contrasts emerge as the day-to-day cacophony of urban life is juxtaposed with eternal cycles of the Tigris, and hellish winds, mosquitoes, rain, floods, snow, and earthquakes are accompanied by somber reflections on invasions and other catastrophes.Documenting the city’s 1,250-year history, Baghdad: The City in Verse shows why poetry has been aptly called the public register of the Arabs.
During the last decade, the South American continent has seen a strong push for transnational integration, initiated by the former Brazilian president Fernando Henrique Cardoso, who (with the endorsement of eleven other nations) spearheaded the Initiative for the Integration of Regional Infrastructure in South America (IIRSA), a comprehensive energy, transport, and communications network. The most aggressive transcontinental integration project ever planned for South America, the initiative systematically deploys ten east-west infrastructural corridors, enhancing economic development but raising important questions about the polarizing effect of pitting regional needs against the colossal processes of resource extraction. Providing much-needed historical contextualization to IIRSA’s agenda, Beyond the City ties together a series of spatial models and offers a survey of regional strategies in five case studies of often overlooked sites built outside the traditional South American urban constructs.
Implementing the term “resource extraction urbanism,” the architect and urbanist Felipe Correa takes us from Brazil’s nineteenth-century regional capital city of Belo Horizonte to the experimental, circular, “temporary” city of Vila Piloto in Três Lagoas. In Chile, he surveys the mining town of María Elena. In Venezuela, he explores petrochemical encampments at Judibana and El Tablazo, as well as new industrial frontiers at Ciudad Guayana. The result is both a cautionary tale, bringing to light a history of societies that were “inscribed” and administered, and a perceptive examination of the agency of architecture and urban planning in shaping South American lives.
Pettem devotes the first chapter to an introduction of the early photographers whose work appears throughout the book. Moving outward from the central business district as development did, each subsequent chapter focuses on a particular area in Boulder, with an introductory essay followed by historic and contemporary photographs with detailed captions.
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