In 2012, I attended the launch of world-renowned Sudanese artist Ibrahim El-Salahi’s autobiography, ‘A Fistful of Sand’, in Khartoum. During the Q&A session, a man raised his hand to address El-Salahi. “While we appreciate your contribution Mr. El-Salahi, I fail to see the importance or influence of art in society.”
Thirty years under the rule of Omar Al-Bashir and his self-dubbed “Savior” regime have led to acute brain drain in every discipline, and a complete disintegration of the arts.
So that man’s dismissive attitude comes as no surprise; more so than proof of the violent repression in which the Sudanese people live, it is the natural result of three decades of economic hardship and impoverishment. As
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