“Red water and red sun dissolve behind green branches, the earth moist with water from the shore, you hear its joy between your footsteps, perfumed air surrounds you, a bed of fronds and reed await you, you are the tired guest arriving, a carpet of grass spread under your feet…”
Excerpt from “Before Basra’s Ruin: Biography of water and date palms” by Taleb Abdul-Aziz. Rough translation by asmaa al-issa.
In bab el-soosa | باب السوسة , al-issa pursues a method of mapping borrowed memories and stories she has acquired from a land known and claimed, but one she will never inherit.
Standing attentive, here, on the land at the confluence of the Bow and Elbow rivers, al-issa confines herself to the resources at hand as she generates physical artifacts reminiscent of a distant place. Using her limited knowledge of her first language, she translates texts, stories, and impressions in the quest to map and rehabilitate her sense of the prized elements of a land once characterised by fertility and abundance. By meandering through histories and lived experiences, bab el-soosa | باب السوسة seeks guidance from the past in order to imagine a revived future.