The A to Z of Conflict is a trilingual artists' book by ten contemporary artists. It imagines what a commonplace children's ABC book would look like if all the entries were chose in relation to words about conflict and words borne out of conflict.
The project uses English, Sinhala, and Tamil, the three languages spoken in Sri Lanka, a country torn apart by a brutal civil war. From afar the compendium of entries testifies to the ways language defines us linguistically, socially, and politically. Up close it reveals how the complex workings of language have the potential to conjoin and divide us.
Each copy of The A to Z of Conflict is bound in one of six combinations, reflecting how three languages can be positioned without giving one language greater status over the others. Drawing on the history of language conflict in Siri Lanka, this artists' book serves as a collective means to think about how language rights, exclusion, status, and planning might serve us better in the future than they have in the past.
Raking Leaves Publishing is an award-winning artist book publisher based in Sri Lanka. Their work is notable for a rigorous conceptual nature, supported by complicated and unique book binding.
Published by Raking Leaves Publishing in 2019. Paperback, measures 10 x 7 inches, 1052 pages. ISBN 9780955667473.