January 1 marks Independence Day in Sudan. This African nation has captured Post-Paris hearts last year thanks to the Elgizouli sisters, whose video Rival ruled many best-of-2018 lists. Sudan is also in the news now due to ongoing public protests calling for a regime change. What had begun as an outcry against rising bread prices has escalated into outrage over government mismanagement, police brutality and media censorship. “Sudan needs a hug right now!” says an image gone viral. I asked Hiba, Mai and Sally to share with us some Sudanese artists we should know, follow and support in the coming new year(s)! Below is a list of nine names from their collective highlight of the creative communities inside Sudan and within the diaspora.
Sammany Hajo justly refers to himself as a Sudanese audio painter. His latest track “Sudan Revolts” mixes street protest sounds and a hope-driven beat (its cover is the cover image for this post)! Meanwhile, I’m hooked on the Briefcase album.
Alsarah is a Sudanese sonic historian and East-African retro-pop star rocking the festival circuit in the EU, US, you-name-it. Check out this stunning video and try to catch ‘em live on the North American tour this spring!
Sudan Roots has celebrated the release of the band’s live album. Their Reggae-rich track Forgive Me My Sudan broke my heart. Most persons who left their homeland can relate to its poignant message no matter the origin or reason(s) for displacement.
Nisreen Kuku has just opened her flagship jewelry boutique in Khartoum, the nation’s capital. Her intricate pieces reflect the complex Sudanese style heritage of pan-African and Arabic cultural influences.
Ashrenkail creates whimsical designs exclusively in copper and silver. The latest much anticipated release (collections sell out pfff-fast) has been delayed due to civil unrest. Queue up on Instagram!
NK Jewelry is an accessories brand by Nawar Kamal. 2018 was a standout year for the designer who had been profiled by CNN in its #AfricanVoices segment.
Abdulrahman Alnazeer is a graphic artist with a growing following. For someone who describes their work as nostalgiaart, the creative vision is decidedly, powerfully future-forward!
Dar Al Naim lends her immense visionary talent to many causes, including fundraising projects that aid refugees fighting deportation in the UK and Spain. A must-follow for your Insta-feed!
Khalid Albaih is one of the most celebrated contemporary Sudanese artists and a provocative voice against neo-colonialism: “Jamal Khashoggi’s borrowed white privilege made his murder count”. How is that for a topical op-ed title?!
I look forward to discovering more about Sudan in the coming year!