The Chant of Nudimmud

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The Chant of Nudimmud

Once upon a time, there was no snake, there was no scorpion,
There was no hyena, there was no lion,
There was no wild dog, no wolf,
There was no fear, no terror,
Humanity had no rival.

Then… Enki, the lord of abundance, whose commands are trustworthy,
The lord of wisdom, who scans the land,
The leader of the gods,
The lord of Eridu, endowed with wisdom,
Changed the speech in their mouths, put contention into it,
Into the speech of man that had been one.

Detail from The Chant of Nudimmud, Stuttgart Württembergischer Kunstverein, photo by Sherko Asl.

12 x 4.2 meters modular drawing with anaglyph 3D
Lead artists: Safdar Ahmed, Zanny Begg, Mona Moradveisi, Susie Egg and Murtaza Ali Jafari with contributions from Zeina Laali and Bossley Park High Students, Bashir Ahmed, Mansoora Gulzari, Parastoo Bahrami, Neda Bahrami, Mohammad, Madina Sayer, Farnaz Yegan, Kamaleshwaran Selladurai, Daminda Ehsan and Tabarak (some names have been changed to protect the security of participants).
Developed in residency at the Powerhouse Youth Theatre, Fairfield, as part of the Little Baghdad Project.
Exhibited at Stuttgart Württembergischer Kunstverein as part of Utopia Pulse – Flares in the Dark, curated by Oliver Ressler and Ines Doujak and Little Baghdad, Powerhouse Youth Theatre, Fairfield, 1001 Nights in Fairfield, Fairfield Museum and Gallery, and Refuge, Verge Gallery, Sydney.




Installation shot, The Chant of Nudimmud, Stuttgart Württembergischer Kunstverein, photo by Zanny Begg.

In The Chant of Nudimmud Undrawing the Line draw inspiration from an ancient Sumarian myth that is one of the earliest known discussion of cultural difference. This over 2000 year old text has been interpreted many ways but appears to describe a pre-biblical version of the story of the Tower of Babel with an important difference – multiple languages come as a gift to humanity, that might save them from the rising flood, rather then as a punishment for their pride. In this project Undrawing the Line seek to explore the potentiality of cultural difference and cross border exchanges in the face of rising sea levels and climate change.


DOCUMENT5DOCUMENT4Installation shots, The Chant of Nudimmud, Undrawing the Line, Refuge, Verge Gallery, Sydney


Installation shots, The Chant of Nudimmud, Undrawing the Line, Lets Party Like its 620BC, Powerhouse Youth Theatre, Sydney


Refugees say it through Art, Jennine Kahlik, Fairfield Advance, 2015