Spice Trade

Abu smoking (animation)

Spice Trade

Multimedia, 2005


Spice Trade peeks into Europe and its history with a non-European perspective. Some 13 000 years ago all human communities consisted of hunter-gatherers, which was the case in most of Africa and Australia until the end of 16th century AD. Simultaneously, hierarchic governmental system, armies, the skill of writing, and technical innovations were developing in Europe. The Europeans’ global supremacy was apparent in conquests on all continents. What if history would have taken a different turn? What if other continents would have surpassed Europe?

Spice Trade is an artistic simulation made with a twinkle in the eye, with an emphasis on placing yourself in someone else’s shoes and questioning European values systems as universal, rather than historic accuracy. The game character is a poor man who has lost his parents, inherited some land and a house. He becomes a trader of spices and herbs in Baghdad at a time when Europeans are starting their “great voyages of exploration”. The game character has to ensure that the Europeans do not take over his country and his culture, while he has to expand the sphere of influence of his own culture.