Water Bearer Miriam Hillawi Abraham
2022; Commissioned by Asmaa Jama & Onassis Stegi, Athens, Greece
From Everything Returns From The Water, Whole and Silver
“Before he knew it, his body was turning water, melted metacarpals / he found himself dripping into the ground.”
- Asmaa Jama, Everything Returns From The Water, Whole and Silver
This work was commisioned by Asmaa Jama and Onassis Stegi as a visual accompaniment to their writing and the soundscapes created by Sami El-Anany. The gabarmanyo, a mercreature from coastal Somali lore, sometimes appearing as the manifestation of sailors or travellers lost at sea.
Poet and visual artist, Asmaa Jama is interested in working with oral histories and multiple voices and has created a piece of fiction that explores new possibilities for the future and alternative narratives rather than revisiting the past. This piece, “Everything returns from the water, whole and silver,” explores the waters around East and North Africa, and the different sounds, narratives, myths, histories that overlap within it through the creation of a fictional character based on the sea, inventing a mythology and folklore around this figure.