Once There Was a Boy: English and Arabic Illustrative Poem 2006

About this project

PIECE Studio wrote and produced the Once There Was A Boy illustrative poem. The poem was written in both English and Arabic and you can read the English from the front to the middle (left-to-right) and read the Arabic from the back to middle (right-to-left). ┬áThe Arabic and English meet in the middle of the book and represents that we have to come together to understand each other. The poem deals about a family’s experience from of war and the horrific consequences of being helpless-they are dragged into the chaos, insanity and madness of destruction that warfare brings. The family focusses on love and dreams of a future without war. The parents hold each other and comfort their children with the hope that their children will have a better and peaceful life.

The poem functions in words and in symbols. The symbols are made from IKEA inspired objects that represent the individual family members, their home and the destructive power of weapons of war. The page area that these symbols occupy represent a theatrical stage where people enter and leave the stage as the words describe the specific situation. The poem begins and ends with the line, “Once There Was a Boy.”