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THE SOUL OF SALT 2016/2024

The Soul of Salt had its premiere on Keti Koti (abolition) in 2016 as a public performance 

Undocumented people – mainly refugees from Syria and Africa – sung the 18th century slave song Many Thousand gone, while afterwards the sea salt was blessed by a Winti Obiaman. Afterwards the audience could complete the ritual by taking a small portion of the blessed salt home in order to dissolve this in water as a symbol for dissolving the pain from the past.

For the participants in the ceremony the dissolved salt functions as a consolation in remembrance of their ancestors or relatives or as a symbol of compassion with the people who still suffer or die as a result of slavery, oppression and poverty.

“The sea salt refers to the salt which enslaved people refrained from eating so they could fly back to Africa. But it also stands symbol for mental and physical liberation. It refers to slaves crossing the salt water of the Atlantic Ocean on their way to plantations. It’s the salt of all the tears shed during slavery and colonialism. The mountain of 8000 kilos of sea salt depicts the suffering, but also the hopes and dreams of people. With this work I wanted to commemorate the past, but also transcend it. Indigenous people believe that the history lies before us because we can visualize the past.

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