Ithra Art Prize winning work - 2023
A study of the Zanj Rebellion of 869 AD in southern Iraq

This work intricately explores Arab history, navigating its elusive dimensions amidst the challenge of limited archival sources and inherent ambiguity. Resilient across time, oral accounts reveal that the reality of many events was consistently shaped by the perspectives of their chroniclers.

Using an innovative stamping process with the Arabic word “عن” (which means in English: On the authority of / From), the artwork distinguishes between reliable and less reliable accounts, emphasizing the fragility of history and the organic nature of memory. Selectively stamping on areas with layers of kozo paper enhances an anamorphic illusion, preserving remnants of this ancient event.

Suspended cotton canvas.
Dimensions: 400cm x 250cm.
Material: 40g kozo paper and ink on canvas / Steel bars / Adjustable steel cables.
Credits: Paper conservator: Sara Théodore / Assistant: Aleksi Tolonen / Thanks to Tatu Tuominen.

The artwork was commissioned by Ithra - King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture, Saudi Arabia.