Home World News In pictures: The art fuelling Sudan’s revolution

In pictures: The art fuelling Sudan’s revolution

Sudanese protesters sit in front of a recently painted mural during a demonstration near the army headquarters in the capital Khartoum, Sudan - 24 April 2019Image copyright AFP

Murals have been mushrooming on the walls around the military headquarters in Sudan’s capital, Khartoum, as thousands keep up a vigil to see a return to civilian rule.

Crowds converged on the area on 6 April and five days later, long-time leader Omar al-Bashir was ousted and arrested by the military after nearly 30 years in power.

A student painting a mural in Khartoum, Sudan

Muwfaq, a student at the nearby University of Khartoum, says the piece he is painting shows how the people of Sudan have broken the chains that have kept them silent for so long.

A mural of bullets and plants in Khartoum, Sudan

Many of the artworks carry the message that bullets and bombs are not the order of the day – and the demonstrators want a peaceful transfer of power.

A mural featuring a dove by the entrance of the vocational training centre in Khartoum, Sudan

The area of the sit-in protest, sandwiched between the northern perimeter of the airport and the Blue Nile, is now the beating heart of the city and it is also where the university campus is based.

An art collective has formed there – and a dove mural, expressing the freedoms achieved so far, marks the entrance to the vocational training centre…

An artist working on a canvas roll at the vocational traing centre in Khartoum, SudanImage copyright Getty Images

At the moment artists at the centre are working on rolls of canvas, to form a 3km (nearly two-mile) work of art that they plan to unroll around the sit-in site.

A mural of Sudanese people on a wall in Khartoum, Sudan

Mughira, a student at a nearby fine arts college, says he painted this wall to represent the diversity of Sudan and those who have been taking part in the protests. The country has many different ethnic groups and more than 100 dialects.

A mural of a man holding a stringed instrument in Khartoum, Sudan

In the mural above, on a university wall within the sit-in area, a man holds a “rababah”, which is a stringed instrument used by all Sudan’s diverse groups. It symbolises that the country is unified in its wish to see change.

A mural of a man and woman on a wall in Khartoum, Sudan

The artwork above shows that men and women have contributed equally to the revolution.

An artist painting a mural of Alaa Salah, the 22-year-old student protester, in Khartoum, SudanImage copyright Getty Images

Here an artist works on a mural of Alaa Salah, the 22-year-old student who became a protest icon after a video of her leading chants against Mr Bashir went viral.

A mural of a man with a beard in the colours of Sudan's old flag - Khartoum, Sudan

Many of the artworks use of the blue, yellow and green colours of Sudan’s first flag, from independence in 1956 – some with a nod to UK graffiti artist Banksy.

People drinking tea or coffee in front of a mural drawn in the style of Banksy - Khartoum, SudanImage copyright Getty Images
A man, woman and two children depicted on a mural in front of Sudan's old flag - Khartoum, Sudan

The old flag was dropped in 1970 by a military junta, which adopted the current pan-Arab colours of red, white, black and green.

A mural with the words: "We demand that Sudan leaves the Arab League. We are black people, the sons of Kushites and the return of the Hala'ib Triangle" - Khartoum, Sudan

The hashtag #Sudaxit has been popular with the protesters and harks back to Sudan’s African, rather than Arab, identity. This graffiti says: “We demand that Sudan leaves the Arab League. We are black people, the sons of Kushites” – a reference to the ancient Kush kingdom.

It goes on to demand the return of the the Hala’ib Triangle, disputed land between Sudan and Egypt.

A mural showing a hand manipulating Sudan like a puppet - Kharotum, Sudan

The work above alludes to counter-revolutionary forces, the “hidden hand” of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt – Arab countries seen as backing the military.

A mural showing a person crying over a bleeding hand with the words: "What is martyrs' blood worth?" - Khartoum, Sudan

Here a mural by the same artist uses one of the slogans of the revolution: “What is martyrs’ blood worth?” – which was frequently chanted by the protesters in the months leading up to the ousting of Mr Bashir.

Graffiti with many slogans of Sudan's revolution - Khartoum, Sudan

These are some of the many other slogans used during the uprising, including “Freedom, peace and justice”.

A mural showing soldiers standing with the protesters in Khartoum, SudanImage copyright AFP

Scores of people are continuing to take part in this outpouring of creativity – and even soldiers have been seen among those coming out to paint the walls of Khartoum.

All images subject to copyright

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