I am street and documentary photographer from Mosul. The photo is for the Nuri Mosque, a twelfth century mosque with its leaning Hadbaa minaret. The mosque was notoriously used by ISIS to slef-proclaim their caliphate. ISIS detonated the mosque & the 55m tall minaret during the battle to retake Mosul from their grip. It was a moment of sadness for Mosulis in particular & human heritage in general. However, whenever there is difficulty, there must be overcoming of it.
The UNESCO, funded by the UAE, have launched the Revive the Spirit of Mosul initiative to rebuild the mosque, Al-Tahera & Latin churches and other heritage houses surrounding the area. It is the best response to ISIS brutality that we can rebuild our heritage, our city, and have better future. Work is still ongoing & hopefully will be done sometime in 2024.
The New Sumerians Project
Sundus Abdul Hadi
Born in 1985 in Baghdad, and lives in Ontario, Canada.
Digital Composite Image & Photography
Around 7,000 years ago, an ancient civilization known as the Sumerians settled along the banks of the Euphrates river, modern day Iraq. Their story gives clues as to our origin. Time was established as we still perceive it, and their advanced understanding of the cosmos and astronomy suggests that our ancestors had a certain access to the celestial sphere that has since been lost in translation.
THE NEW SUMERIANS is an evolving project that honours the ancestry we carry as displaced peoples. In collaboration with photographer Ahmad Nasereldein, I have created portraits that I have manipulated with the sculpted facial and body parts of Ancient Sumerians, starting with the 5,000 year old mask of “The Lady of Uruk”. This iteration begins with my origin story: my family— the microcosm. This process of transformation pays homage to our celestial ancestors, despite the passage of time and the circumstances that have propelled us away from our homeland.
These ancient sculptures carry our burdens and have witnessed our pillage. The New Sumerians is part of a larger exploration rooted in storytelling and world-building; a supernatural dimension where ancestors live amongst the unborn, and intergenerational burdens transform into wisdom.