France24 | Images of since-‘erased’ Sudanese protest art shown in London

Sudanese anti-government protesters painted blistering images of defiance — raised fists and rallying cries — on the walls at their recent weeks-long sit-in demonstration in Khartoum that ended in a bloody crackdown. 

Much of their revolutionary street art was reportedly destroyed and now all that’s left are photographs of their work, which are being exhibited at a central London university space turned into a temporary gallery.

“Unfortunately a lot of this artwork has already been erased… we were lucky enough to have some pictures,” Marwa Gibril, the organiser of the exhibition at SOAS University, told AFP as it opened on Friday.

The 31-year-old member of the British chapter of the Sudanese Doctors Union said most of the works were painted over during a brutal June 3 raid on a longstanding protest camp that killed dozens of demonstrators and wounded hundreds.

“A lot of creativity came out, it lasted 57 days and after that it was ruined,” she added.

“They painted over (them) with white paint.”

– ‘It’s all gone now’ –

Jumana Amir, 20, a student in Cardiff, Wales who came to Britain from Sudan aged three, travelled to London to see the 30 or so images on display for two days at SOAS, which specialises in the study of Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

She was already familiar with some of the artworks after glimpsing them in videos of the sit-in protests shared by relatives.

“Unfortunately it’s all gone now but I’m here to see it,” she said, wearing the red and green colours of Sudan in her hair braids.

“It made me very emotional,” Amir added.

“I really like the ones that are very woman-empowering, because in my opinion women (took) a very big role in the whole revolution.”

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