Ladan Osman & Joe Penney

In 14th Century Mali, an ambitious young royal named Mansa Musa ascended the throne of the richest kingdom in human history. After centuries of colonial invasion, manuscripts with first-hand information on the empire are missing, and his story remains a myth. Sun of the Soil is the story of Malian artist Abdou Ouologuem’s journey to discover the truth behind this legendary African king. As he dives into Musa’s psychology and compares a king’s yearning for Mali’s glory with his own dreams, Abdou realizes history is more complex than he imagined. Abdou and Musa’s storylines weave together and eventually converge, punctuated by performance art pieces that illustrate key moments in Mansa Musa’s reign.