Accepted paper:

Maneuvering the Barbed Wire


Nadine Rea Intisar Adam (Max-Planck-Institute for Social Anthropology)

Paper short abstract:

In the last years, despite the tensed security situation and repression, young artists in Khartoum/Sudan have made attempts to claiming back (public) space and making themselves and their art visible against all odds.

Paper long abstract:

This paper looks into the different ways and art practices young artists in Sudan used to bring back art into the public space, thereby directly or cryptically articulating their discontent with the political and social situation in Sudan. The art practices, ranging from murals to street theater, Reggae music and fashion, all have in common that they express deviance while their levels of direct critique range widely. However, the most powerful critique does not need to be plain-spoken in order to be understood by the audience addressed. Indeed, making art public and making oneself visible as an artist in a context like Sudan, needs courage, since it not only may not be understood and the person be called `crazy artist´, but given the repressive political situation, making oneself visible also carries the risk of falling under intensified surveillance by security agents. Hence, making art public and visible, is an act of protest in which the artist needs to balance critique and visibility, carefully weighing up what can be said and done, and what cannot - artists need to know how to maneuver the barbed wire.

panel P084
Youthful agency, art practices and the right to the city