water gives and takes life
الماء يعطينا الحياة و يربطنا عبر حدود الامم، و لكن هو يقتل يفرقنا أيضا
Water gives life and connects us across national borders. But it also takes life and divides us.
a text by Kristin Samir Jaibi Loren du Pon
“ the deep ness of Time. The calm breathing of millions of years.
An inland sea falls dry, evaporates beneath the blazing sun;
the basin become a wasteland of salt.
The searing heat of the deep desert.
And then, at the end of that silent, motionless epoch.
A breach opens between the Atlantic Ocean and what will become the Mediterranean Sea.
Foaming and churning, the water brakes through the rift and descends on the saline desert;
the waters rise a few meters each day.
First, the basin fills from Gibraltar to Sicily;
then comes the eastern part, to the coasts of Turkey and the Levant.
Mare Nostrum. Yam Gadol. Akdeniz.
Dragged mountaintops stick out like islands.
The crack between the Eurasian and African plates is but a scratch in the earth’s crust;
still it divides the continents resolutely.
Here is here and there is there.
From the flank of her mountain, the Neanderthal woman
whose bones will be found one day in a cave on the rock of Gibraltar
can see the mountain on the far side of the strait,
Jebel Musa, shimmering in the light.
Does she see signs of human life there?
Pillars of smoke on the horizon?
Does she have thoughts about the other?
Sixty kilometres long is the Strait of Gibraltar,
at its narrowest only fourteen wide;
there is a powerful current.
Sandbanks, headlands, reefs, the treacherous Boreas.
The fog that drops in suddenly, obscuring the far shore.
Rising up on both sides,
the rock of Gibraltar in Europe and Jebel Musa in Africa.
Marking the end of this world.
Current, counter-current, wind, contrary wind;
it rages between the mountains on both sides of the Strait.
All you can do is brace yourself and pray to be saved. “
“ Six thousand years ago, not far from Gibraltar, on a rock close to Jimenez deal Frontera, someone drew an ochre-coloured ship.“
(Based on “The Death of Murat Idrissi” 2017 / Tommy Wieringa )