Decaying Bank: Reproducing Khartoum Visually

Khartoum at night, photo by Mozafar Ramadan, 2022

There was nothing left but the small shrouds that were stacked on the boards in the width of the walls, as if they were mugs containing the remains of the dead.

Jean Paul Sartre, What is literature?

The project represents an artistic residency that seeks to work on Khartoum city on two levels. The first is a research production on Khartoum and its representations in visual art, and then reconstruct a model from which a different visual production exudes, based on the critical view that was provided through the critical engagement that takes place. Through this, works will be produced (A group of visual artworks) carrying these themes.

Khartoum as a visually contradictory city. Photos by Mozafar Ramadan

What is Khartoum?

What do we mean by Khartoum? This question that we will try through theoretical research to set limits to and not an answer because our task in this project is not to answer the question of Khartoum or the Sudanese modern city, but rather to set limits for our artistic work to accommodate the artistic practice within the ceiling of the city, and then through theoretical frameworks to define the viewing space, although it is difficult to deal with the city as a limited situation, but for the purpose of putting the visual production in contact with the theory, we will make this research attempt.

Visual Production

If we want to reproduce Khartoum visually, this means that we have a view on what was produced. Therefore, it is important to address Khartoum in the context of the visual arts that were produced around and from it, and to form new working tools and techniques that can provide a critique of the visual contribution experience around Khartoum, and then enter into a new experiment about it, and to examine the possibility of this attempt as well.

Viewing Techniques

As long as we are talking about Khartoum as a city for viewing space and trying to produce it visually, we must discuss viewing techniques, which in some ways affect the visual production around it because technology is an added value that contributes to shaping our position. How do we see Khartoum? What is the perspective we use in watching? These questions are important because they are linked with reception and production and provide a different and new accountability, and place the operator within the limits of the phenomenon and then production around it, and this model of genealogy is detailed in its dealings with reality, linking it with history and its extensions in the present as well.

Artistic Features of Visual Production

The visual production in this project is controlled by features aiming to link the theoretical framework through which discussions and dialogues with artists take place with the production so that there are methodological features through which the artwork is clear, and certainly does not seek to scale the creative process is just an attempt to frame the artwork in an identifiable way.

Resident artists: 

Elhassan Elmuontasir 

Elhassan is an independent artist, designer, and artist-run space manager with a background in Graphic Design, technical education, International relations, and Fine art. He co-founded ‘ Khaish Studio’ in Khartoum in 2012 and since then has been a part of various art collaborative exhibitions and artist residencies with artists, curators, and art centres in Sudan and other countries including Uganda, India, Germany, Kenya, and Nigeria.

Mozafar Ramadan

Mozafar is a fine arts graduate who is now working as a graphic designer in Khartoum. He has participated in many group exhibitions and workshops and had a solo exhibition in Arweqa for Art and Science in 2012.

Shaima Hashem

Shaima, a painter, believes that art is the way of self-discovery, and the process of creating as a search for herself in the world around her.

Abdalsalam Alhaj 

Abdalsalam is a visual artist, and VR producer focusing on immersive media, audiovisual, and AR/VR as vehicles for storytelling, and self-expression. He is the founder of Rift Digital Lab, a creative immersive agency focusing on AR/VR, podcasts, and audiobooks.

Hassan Kamil

Hassan is a storyteller who uses still and motion imagery as a medium to tell humanitarian, historical and cultural stories. Over the past 5 years, he developed a style consisting of colourful & energetic imagery projecting the essence and feel of the Sudanese culture. He is a member of the African photo journalism database (APJD). Hassan worked for international & regional publications.

Matche Jaafar

Born and raised in Khartoum, Sudan, Metche Jaafar, is an architect, freelance Photographer, visual artist, and storyteller with a deep interest in Folklore, Art, and culture. Influenced by the work of Mary Ellen Marks and so many others she fell in love with photojournalism and documentary photography. Based in Khartoum she’s interested in documenting social, political, and women’s issues. Through storytelling, she’s documenting for herself first and the people around her, creating and implementing history and heritage, and having a good understanding of emotions, Ideas, and incidents inside and around her. Her work has been showcased in mutable group exhibitions inside and outside Sudan.

Project team:

Dr. Mohammed Abdalrahaman
Hassan Alnasir
Reem Aljeally
Marwan M. Hamza
Mawadda Tarig
Ghassan Gaafar
Mohamed Abdalla

This project is supported by AFAC – Arab Fund For Arts And Culture.