"eyes are fields of roses and amber
cheeks are brown and oriental
etched in the ink across skin untethered by gender or sex
the lamassu king almighty abandoned"
photos taken by Algerian best friend - Mehdi Klouche-Djedid (he/they/she)
the subject - Noor Majed-Suleiman (he/she) - is a Baghdadi trans lesbian, whose life experiences cumulate in this series of portraits
this piece is a testament to the future of queer rights across Iraq and the world, the diaspora is waking to a new revolution we see Noor in his element, playing video games and working out, slaloming between the masculine and feminine with grace and power
This series aims to challenge the preconceived notions describing the future of the Iraqi diaspora, one that embraces the intersection between Mesopotamian tradition and queer innovation.
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.