This project addresses Egypt and Sudan’s role in the history of slavery. Egypt has a long history of serving as a slave market and a place of crossing to the international market. Digging into the history of colonial military slavery in Africa, the black ivory horn sculptures in the installation reference both the physical labour of enslaved men who were forced to carry ivory on their journey to Egypt on the 40-day road, and the term used by the British colonial army to refer to enslaved Sudanese soldiers. A voice recording in Shiluk –a dialect spoken in south Sudan– plays within the installation, telling a story inspired by oral memoirs of one of the enslaved Sudanese soldiers who fought in Mexico. The story is one of only two remaining records I was able to locate that document the lives of 523 minors who were kidnapped from Sudan and sent to Mexico to fight for the French army in the Mexican-French war at the end of the 19th century. 

Black Ivory text

Black Ivory audio

 

amado alfadni