Benera and Estefan
The Desert Rock that Feeds the World, 2019
Installation (phosphate rock, sand, metal wire), variable dimensions

The Western Sahara Wall of Sand is the largest active military barrier in the world. Western Sahara - an area designated by the United Nations as a «Non-Self-Governing Territory» contains a phosphate deposit of 1.7 billion tonnes on the Bou Craa site.

The wall was built by Morocco to keep the Sahrawi people (the population living in the eastern Sahara), away from the natural resources of the region. Phosphate rocks are formed over millions of years in the Earth’s crust. It is a finite resource and there is no way to manufacture it. It is one of the most important natural resources of the world, essential for plant and animal life. 

 A rock of phosphate from Morocco becomes a pendulum, hanging from the high ceiling, shifting its swing-plane according to the rotation of the Earth. The pendulum is placed against a sand construction - basically a 1/1 section through the Sahara wall of sand.

          Photo credit: Patrick Hertzog/AFP

                                                  Bou Craa open-pit phosphate mine.
                                                         Western Sahara, south-east of the
                                                          the main city of El Aaiún, a Moroccan-controlled mine.

                                                         Phosphate is a prime component of agricultural fertilizer,
                                                      and Bou Craa is one of the largest phosphate mines in the world. The site produces

around 2.4 million tons annually, 14 percent of the world’s production (2011).
                                                       The minerals are transported to the coast by an automated conveyor belt
                                                         (the longest in the world, it can be seen from space) where massive.
                                                          ships transport the phosphate across the globe.