Emerging Singularities: High-High Kitsch House Decor and More from Sudan

London’s P21 Gallery is hosting an exhibition of Sudanese art, to be accompanied by lectures, film, and theatre. Book of Khartoum co-editor Raph Cormack dropped in:

By Raph Cormack

Photo credit: Raph Cormack.

On Thursday evening, a new exhibition of Sudanese art and culture opened in P21 Gallery in King’s Cross, London. The exhibition is set to run from March 24 through May 6, and it features painting from Kamala Ishaaq, Hussein Shariffe, and Mohammed Otaybi; ceramics by Mo Abbaro as well as jewellery; short films; and a section on the Shoaf theatre troupe. Probably the most striking part of the exhibition is a collection of photos of Akram Fathi’s high-high-kitsch house decoration from Khartoum.

Just looking at pictures is enough of an experience — I can only wonder what it is like to wake up to this in the morning. If you want to find out, there was a rose-themed curtain rail apparently on sale for £350. Though, if anyone with an eye for the camp has already been to the exhibition, it might well have been bought.

The aim of the exhibition is to get beyond the general media picture of Sudan and provide a glimpse of the country’s cultural and artistic life. It will, therefore, also be accompanied by several different events over the next month, with more to be announced.

The events below are at the P21 Gallery. Highlights include:

Thursday March 30, 18:30-20:30: Sudan No Future without Culture: A discussion with exhibit curator Frédérique Cifuentes; the director of the Nuba Mountains Tabeldiya organisation, Hiba Khidir; film director Taghreed Elsanhouri; and illustrator and moving-image designer Besheer Abbaro, son of the ceramicist Mo Abbaro.

Thursday April 6, 18:00-20:00: Talk on Literature, Translation and Transcreating with Vivienne Glance and Afeif Ismail.

Wednesday April 12, 18:30-20:30:  Film screening of two of Hussein Shariffe’s films, followed by a Q&A with his daughters.

Photo credit: Raph Cormack.

Saturday April 22, 11:30-13:30: Cooking masterclass with Omar Eltigani, author of The Sudanese Kitchen. Book here for £21.71.

A series of drop-in drama sessions for families aimed at children 5-12 with Mohammed Terwis will be held on a number of Saturdays in April from 13:00-15:00 at the P21 gallery. They are scheduled for April 1, 22, and 29.

There will also be a closing event on May 6, which will include Sudanese music and some short theatrical performances curated by Moneim Ibrahim.

There are more events in the works. In order to keep up with the program, go to http://emergingsudan.com/.

The curator, Frédérique Cifuentes, hopes that this is the beginning of an ongoing project and, if successful, she hopes to make it an annual event. Those who want to encourage more of this kind of event had better go along now.

Raphael Cormack is a PhD student at Edinburgh University working on 19th and 20th Century Egyptian Literature. His blog is https://onpaper.blog/.

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Categories: Sudan

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