The Sudanese revolution and its "erased" street art are exposed in London

16

Exhibition in London of the photographs of the drawings and slogans, today mostly erased, which enamelled the demonstrations in Sudan since February 2019.
Exhibition in London of photographs of drawings and slogans, today mostly erased, that are enamelling demonstrations in Sudan since February 2019. TOLGA AKMEN / AFP

Twenty-year-old Jumana Amir passes and passes in front of the thirty or so photos exhibited in a university hall in London showing works by street art realized during the anti-government sit-in in Khartoum: these images, "That's all we have left"she slips to AFP, moved.

In Khartoum on July 5th, 2019.
In Khartoum on July 5, 2019. ASHRAF SHAZLY / AFP

Because, since the dispersion of the sit-in in the blood on June 3, " a lot " of these murals have been "Erased"says Marwa Gibril, a member of the UK branch of the Sudan Doctors Union, SDU UK, which is organizing this ephemeral exhibition dedicated to "Sudanese revolutionary art" within the SOAS University, specialized in the study of Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

This is not the first time that Jumana Amir sees these frescoes. Originally from Sudan, she arrived in the United Kingdom at the age of 3 with her parents, but her family remained in Khartoum. "Very active" in the demonstrations.

Read also How the military and the opposition have agreed on the political transition in Sudan

"They were at the sit-in, I called them in video mode and I saw these paintings" behind them, she says. "Unfortunately, everything is gone now"deplores the girl with braids mixed with red and green – the colors of Sudan – and especially from Cardiff, where she studies, for the exhibition scheduled Friday, July 12 and Saturday, July 13.

Her favorite works: those showing women she considers as "One of the main strengths" movement.

Exhibition in London of the photographs of the drawings and slogans, today mostly erased, which enamelled the demonstrations in Sudan since February 2019.
Exhibition in London of photographs of drawings and slogans, today mostly erased, that are enamelling demonstrations in Sudan since February 2019. TOLGA AKMEN / AFP

Like this large, colorful painting depicting two Sudanese women who are addressing the crowds with their fists raised and wearing heavy traditional earrings. Or this woman's face frowning, drawn in black, with these words in Arabic escaping from her mouth wide open: "The voice of a woman is a revolution. " The impressive graffiti is signed Esra Awad, April 24. "We know the names of some artists, and among them, some have disappeared. After the end of the sit-in, they were never found. We do not know if they are alive or dead "Marbel Gibril says.

"Universal language of artists"

Since June 3, the repression has left 136 dead, including a hundred in the sole dispersion of the sit-in, according to a committee of doctors close to the dispute. The authorities, they speak of 71 dead since the same date.

On July 5, an agreement was reached between the government and the protest on a transitional body, the first sign of a way out of crisis whose epicenter was the sit-in.

The sit-in, which began on 6 April in front of the army headquarters, was "As a state in the state (…) with people organizing themselves", recalls proudly the Sudanese doctor Ahmed Hashim, who practices in London but took many of the photos exhibited during a short stay in Khartoum in April.

In Khartoum, Sudan, slogan seen during the demonstrations of June 27, 2019: "I will say everything to God".
In Khartoum, Sudan, slogan seen during the demonstrations of June 27, 2019: "I will say everything to God". Umit Bektas / REUTERS

"I saw them paint (…) on the walls but also on the floor, he recalls. There were medical care stands, a platform on which singers performed revolutionary songs. " A film broadcasts these scenes of life.

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also Thirty years after coup, Sudanese demand "all power to civilians"

Thanks to the exhibition, "Anyone can look and understand what's going on" in Sudan, even without speaking Arabic, rejoices Jumana Amir, while most amateur photographs are not captioned.

"That's why artists are our greatest weapon. They speak a universal language », she says. Among the works represented, two are inspired by the work of the famous British street artist Banksy.

Exhibition in London of the photographs of the drawings and slogans, today mostly erased, which enamelled the demonstrations in Sudan since February 2019.
Exhibition in London of photographs of drawings and slogans, today mostly erased, that are enamelling demonstrations in Sudan since February 2019. TOLGA AKMEN / AFP

But the organizers require more than a glance or an outstretched ear. "We ask for your solidarity, not just your curiosity", is it written on an A3 sheet taped on a pole. And on a banner at the exit: "Their bullets will not kill us, what kills is your silence. "

React or consult all the contributions

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.