Selected Cultural Posts
Below, just a small selection of some of the past two years’ cultural posts which you might enjoy. The posts cover everything from Sudanese Sufi traditions, aromatics and jewelry to the work of young, groundbreaking poets and artists.
Links to the posts appear below their title photos.
Our latest cultural post below discusses the stunning short film from Russian-Sudanese director, Suzannah Mirghani. The lives of three generations of Sudanese women interweave in this luminous and intense tale.
“In September this year our patron, Leila Aboulela, (see Leila Aboulela and Words Matter with Leila Aboulela) generously agreed to be interviewed on the rich seams of inspiration and daily discipline she draws on for her writing. Read more and watch her interview later this month. Sudanese Moments is a photographic tribute to the grace and vibrancy of Sudan (see too Khartoum Scenes, accompanied by literary excerpts). “Her Words Slayed Dragons” steps into the controversial world of Sudan’s Hakkamat, powerful women singer-poets and sages.
In Conversation with Natalina Yacoub shares the inspiring life story of Nuba Mountains advocate for peace, Natalina Yacoub. If you are interested in Nuba Mountains culture, see too Kambala
In A Passion for Imperfection, the Toronto-based Sudanese artist and ceramicist, Enas Satir reveals the inspiration for her multi-faceted work. Incense (بخور bakhūr) in Sudan is one of several posts on Sudan’s spiritual and aromatic heritage. See too The Clove’s Fragrance and The Eternal Dance.
Hair Braiding in Northern Sudan offers both colonial and recent accounts of an ancient custom, laden with symbolism and beauty.
See more scenes of Khartoum in Khartoum Collage
Watch Sudanese Arabic videos, news reports and listen to famous songs with annotated transcripts in my other blog:
Sudanese Arabic Documentary Transcripts with English Notes
Awadia Samak tells the story of a remarkable businesswoman and campaigner for the rights of those with disabilities in Sudan and her legendary fish restaurant. Coffee and Hibiscus Flowers and Coffee and Hibiscus Flowers 2 give a taste of the work of the talented and dynamic Tutu Island – based young artist, Mutaz al-Fateh.
And My Country Will Live tells the story of a famous Sudanese poem captured in clay.“Muslim Like My Grandmother” reproduces Hala AlKarib’s touching tribute to her grandmother and the power of older women in Sudan.
Keeping People at the Heart of Literacy and Scenes from Our Orphans’ Schooling Programme, Our University Scholarships and Opening Doors give a taste of the life-changing work of Women’s Education Partnership.
Read about the groundbreaking Sudanese woman novelist Malikah ad-Dar – Trailblazer and the story behind film and theatre director Moniem Ibrahim’s dramatization of the beloved Sudanese poem and ballad, The Tragedy of Uncle Abdur Raheem in In Conversation. Get to know the expert Arabic dialectologist and film maker, Bentley Brown, in “Nowhere and Everywhere”.
Learn about Sudan’s traditional camel-powered sesame oil craft in The Camel and the Sesame Seed. The `ushar plant plays a central role in Sudanese folk traditions and traditional medicine. Read about it in Milk and Thorns.
Birds of the Soul, Inscriptions on Rosewater and Unmaskings are dedicated to aspects of the life and work of three remarkable Sudanese artists; Ibrahim Al-Salahi, Salah Elmur and Dar Al Naim.
A Thousand Prayers and Unfolding Blessings open a window onto the fascinating world of Sufi prayer and ritual in Sudan.
Kamala Ishaq is one of Sudan’s foremost contemporary artists. Read an interview with her in Forests and Spirits. Siddiq al Nigoumi, British – Sudanese potter, broke artistic molds to become a leading ceramicist respected internationally. See The Scorpion and The Coffee Pot, dedicated to his life and work. Under the Tall Tree’s Shade debuts a young Khartoum-based woman artist whose pen and ink drawings capture the essence of childhood memories.
The Hagu / Hagoo (wedding beads) and ” A Sip from Tattooed lips” (lower lip tattooing) are the first two of a series of brief posts on Sudanese women’s traditional attire and adornments.
“Oh Stranger Knocking on My City’s Gates” – a tribute to Khartoum with words by Sudanese and British poets.
Read about Women’s Education Partnership’s vital work in health and literacy in Juba, South Sudan in Health and Literacy in South Sudan; Outposts of Hope. Safia Elhillo’s poetry evokes both the power and pain of the emigre condition in “Everything that is lost will be given a name. The Makwagi – The Ironing Man is an evocative colonial description of a once ubiquitous figure in northern Sudanese daily life.
Above, sheikh in Khartoum, Victoria Stationery Book Stores, Khartoum (personal collection).
If you are interested in historical illustrations of Sudan, you might enjoy Sketches from Sudan and Historical Sketches – People and Places
The Sudanese Tambour – Sudan’s colonial past, music, spirituality and exquisite craftsmanship.
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