Benera and Estefan
East of the Danube, West of the Euphrates, 2019
Installation (hand made tapestry, photographs and
vinyl lettering on the wall)

Departing from the carpet of the mosque in Ada Kaleh (the submerged island on the Danube), as well as carpets covering traditional Muslim tombs, this work weaves together histories of two locations linked to the beginning and the end of the Ottoman Empire: the disappeared island of Ada Kaleh and the Tomb of Suleyman Shah (grandfather of the founder of the Ottoman Empire Osman I).

The underwater debris of the two sites is visualized with the help of hydrographic surveys of the riverbeds and their 3D rendering.

Located in present-day Syria, yet remaining the property of Turkey, the thirteenth-century tomb was first moved in 1973 due to the flooding of the area under Lake Assad, when Tabqa dam (or al-Thawra dam, literally the Dam of the Revolution) was built on the Euphrates, causing not least a dispute between Syria and Iraq at the time. In 2015, Turkey temporarily moved the tomb again to a new site in Syria due to the Syrian Civil war.
In turn, until 1968, the island Ada Kaleh was inhabited by Romanian Turks and submerged in 1970 due to the construction of the Iron Gates hydroelectric plant. The inhabitants were given the option to move to the neighboring island of Simian, yet most of them moved directly to Turkey or to other parts of Romania, with a population of Romanian Turks, such as Constanta. It is also in the Constanta mosque where the original carpet from the Ada Kaleh Mosque, a gift from the Ottoman Sultan Abdul Hamid II, was relocated in 1965 and where it can be found today.

Produced by 


                    Island of Ada Kaleh toward
                    the end of the 19th century


                    Castle QAL’AT JA’BAR 
     submerged into the reservoir lake of the
              The Tomb of Suleyman Shah
              was  relocated near to Aleppo 

             photo © Discover Islamic Art,
                Museum With No Frontiers