Eden Turned on its Side: Eden in Iraq 2011-Present
EDEN IN IRAQ is a land art project in the wetlands of S. Iraq using imagery and wastewater to create a garden to transform centuries of waste and conflict into art. Accompanying the project is a portfolio of images (above) created in the process of developing the larger project.
In 1991 Saddam Hussein drained the immense wetlands near the likely site of the Garden of Eden, turning it into a desert. The expelled Marsh Arabs have been returning to re-green and restore the marshes with the help of Nature Iraq located in El-Chibaish. This 7,000 year old Sumerian culture has retained their traditional way of life including their magnificent reed architecture, reed weavings, and water buffalo trade. In 2011 Nature Iraq welcomed artist Meridel Rubenstein and environmental engineer Dr. Mark Nelson to create an art/ecological work that will transform human waste into a garden.