Adel Abidin: The Revolt | Documents on salt 2024

The resounding voice of the Zanj endures through a series of sculptures crafted from pure salt. These sculptures underscore the significance of salt as the primary medium available to the Zanj, who were compelled to leave their lands and were brought to Iraq as slaves. Their labor was directed towards cleaning the predominantly saline environment along the banks of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in southern Iraq. The inhumane exploitation endured by these salt-cleaners, under the rule of their oppressors, forced them to utilize the only material at their disposal to document their suerings in salt.

Through my sculpting technique, I aim to convey the voice of the Zanj themselves, serving as both an embodiment of their experiences and as relics of their history. One notable sculpture features a letter etched into a salt block, conveying the firsthand account of a young man recounting his father's narrative of the rebellion. These sculptures serve as invaluable relics, presenting the perspective of the Zanj, which is absent from conventional archival materials or books.

Series crafted from natural salt slabs, supported by metal brackets for display.