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“Through the American Qur’an series, Birk presents a new version of this holy book that is more accessible and also shows how the teachings can be applied to the daily experiences of American life.” (Source)

Not photography, not prisons, but very timely; Sandow Birk’s American Qur’an.

Since 2004 Birk has been transcribing the entire Qur’an into English, illustrating each sura (or chapter) with paintings evoking Persian miniatures, but depicting everyday scenes in America. According to the press release, the Detroit-born, California-based artist “hopes to reflect how consistent the similarities are in the teachings of Islam, Judaism and Christianity. To bring this to light enables more understanding and compassion, versus fear of the unknown … ” (Source)

This is the type of reflection that should be made in our current times, instead of this nutter and his offensive fetish for fire. Thankfully, the AP will not distribute images of idiots burning Qu’rans, during the so-called International Qu’ran Burning Day. Ugh.

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To my mind, Sandow Birk is the greatest working political illustrator. His clever manipulation of the landscape genre for his Prisonation series was an intelligent, elegiac take on California’s 33 facility prison industrial complex. (I referenced his work reviewing the recent and excellent City Lights publication PRISON/CULTURE.)

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