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It has been a year of war in Sudan between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces, amid massive polarization and a large amount of misleading and false information, in addition to the fragility of the Sudanese media, which led to almost total reliance on alternative media and social media to stay up to date to the news. The outbreak of armed conflict in central Khartoum in April 2023, led to the disruption of all media outlets in the capital, as newspapers stopped, the national television (Sudan TV) stopped broadcasting together with several other satellite channels, as well as the national radio (Omdurman Radio) and several local shortwave (FM) radio stations. Based on the oppressive situation that the Sudanese media and press have witnessed in terms of restrictions on conveying facts, since the era of the previous regime and throughout the thirty years from 1989 to 2019, the media field breathed a little sigh of relief in the period following the December revolution, however, the situation returned to what it was after the military coup of October 2021.

The Sudanese people are suffering and being subjected to continuous violations, waves of exodus and displacement estimated at millions, and tens of thousands of dead and wounded amidst this brutal war. The health sector is on the brink of collapse, with increasing disease outbreaks and food insecurity, the necessities of life have turned into luxuries. Also, the communication networks and internet services are prone to weakness and fluctuation constantly, from a complete halt of three telecommunications companies in various areas in February 2024 to a partial return in most of the cities of northern and eastern Sudan, doubling the obscuring dilemma and the Sudanese suffering becomes more overlooked.

The Sudanese people have endured prolonged wars in what is now South Sudan - once referred to as the Southern region - as well as Darfur, the Blue Nile, and South Kordofan regions. Leaving behind countless displaced people and tragedies, displacement and diaspora, it also resulted in the production of an artistic heritage in its various forms that individuals used as a means of resistance, and it became a parallel history in which events were documented.

A painting by Mubarak Abbas in his exhibition about Darfur in Virginia

Art and artists also played a central role in the Sudanese revolution in 2018, especially in the sit-in at the Army General Command, the entire borders of which were coloured with murals about freedom and peace.

One of the murals in the General Command sit-in, April 2019


This article is an attempt to showcase young Sudanese artists, who have devoted their efforts, to documenting and reflecting on Sudanese suffering, to be a source of light for those affected by what is happening and to serve as a constant reminder of the forgotten war.


Visual artist Al-Mughira Abdel-Baqi

  1. He returned home from the city full of life at night, to wake up to the sounds of war in the morning in the capital where he remained trapped for days as the situation unexpectedly exploded, and was only saved by a truce in which he left to Omdurman. He was shocked by what Khartoum had become in such a short time. The beloved city’s streets were empty and filled with ruins and corpses.

At the risk of losing his life, he decided to permanently leave the capital. While witnessing the displacement of hundreds, he produced a series called 'Exiting the City', a blend of sorrow and art, through which he expressed that there is no escape even by fleeing the conflict, as war doesn't only involve weapons. He created another series named “Survivors”, that documents the stories of millions of Sudanese.


Source: Al-Mughira Abdel-Baqi

Source: Al-Mughira Abdel-Baqi

(2) Departure Anthem

Under the unusual circumstances and an unsupportive environment, amidst the widespread shock from the war and the breakdown of the system along with the fragmentation that had descended on the country, no one knew what to do at that time, except these young people! They set the goal and made a plan, despite the difficulty of implementing it in a new environment in Wad Madani, Al-Jazira state. The journey began to search for what was necessary to implement the idea. They only had two cameras and a microphone, which were difficult to obtain and were available for a limited and short period, so they took them to the chosen filming location to face other challenges about the possibility of completing the work despite the sensitivity of the situation for individuals.


They quickly found solutions and alternatives and created an appropriate and comfortable space for people to share their stories and experiences. This effort resulted in a documentary that narrated the events of the Khartoum war through the pure feelings of those who broke their silence and told what will be a permanent part of Sudan’s history.


“Departure Anthem” is an independent documentary project based on emotion, society, and Sudanese literature. It is one of the productions of the “Madkhal Project” and the team of energetic young individuals behind it.


Source: Madkhal Project

Source: Madkhal Project

(3) Photographer Islam Taha

After seeing the news shadow banning Sudan, he decided to document and convey the truth of what is happening in the capital, Khartoum - the city of Omdurman amid the armed conflict. He documented the remains of war and destruction in areas that were marred by some kind of safety, and documented the living experiences of individuals in those areas.

He highlighted the lack of basic services, such as water and electricity, and narrated what daily life looks like taking into account the telecom disconnection. It is not only a new experience for Islam, but also a bitter and shocking one, nevertheless he stood tall holding the camera.

Source: Islam Taha

Source: Islam Taha

(4) Adlan Yousef

Initial estimates indicate that more than 700 houses were completely or partially destroyed and rendered completely uninhabitable in the capital, Khartoum. Besides more than 600 stores in neighborhoods and markets were also damaged, and some of them were completely burned as a result of the continuous shelling and shooting.

This was expressed by the young visual artist Adlan Youssef in a work that he described as a sculptural memorial work of the spaces that were left vacant by its residents, in an experiment to document war-torn places to reflect what life is like in conflict areas.

Source: Adlan Yousif

Source: Adlan Yousif


(5) Musab Abushama

He was known for his sense of humour and unique photography skills. Between creativity and documentation amid the intensification of the bloody conflict and the deterioration of the security conditions, and without interruption, Musab continues to document the details of daily life in the city of Omdurman. His work focuses on reflecting on social cohesion in the face of conditions when there is a shortage of services like electricity and water. Youth come together to create an atmosphere in which life becomes possible, and facilitate the conditions of residents through various initiatives such as community kitchens to provide food as well as Al-Nau Hospital initiative.

He visited Al-Nau Hospital, the only operating hospital in Omdurman, and documented the collapse of the healthcare system in the capital, by highlighting the human stories of the volunteers who fought to prevent the hospital from closing. He reflects on the diverse aspects of war, including its influence on children and the military manifestations among civilian neighbourhoods.

Source: Musab Abushama

Source: Musab Abushama


(6) Fayez Abu Bakr

Before the conflict extended to Al Jazirah State: There were approximately 200 shelter camps in the state, based on the local and grassroots efforts of the state’s youth, who subsequently became displaced after the clashes spread to the state, which was once a safe haven for millions of Sudanese.

Fayez Abu Bakr, a photojournalist and documentarian, reflected on the reality of the humanitarian situation in the country. He is focusing on the displaced in search of safety, targeting shelter centres to tell the stories of these people, who had busy lives that were torn by war.

Source: Fayez Abu Bakr

Source: Fayez Abu Bakr

(7) I give you void as a gift 

Photographers Walaa Yassin and Muhammad Babiker

They voluntarily migrated from Saudi Arabia, where they grew up, to their homeland, Sudan, to create the lives they always dreamed of, however, life took a different course of action as the war led them to migrate.

Through photography, they captured their individual stories during the arduous journey of displacement to the Egyptian border. With visual narration, they wanted to shed light on the unheard stories, away from the broad news headlines about the numbers and statistics of displacement, telling the stories of those displaced and documenting history, the nights of exile in 'Almarai', sans-serif !important, the hard work, the passion, and the art. They produced the book of visual narration, “I give you void as a gift.”

Source: Walaa Yassin

(8) Alaa Khair

Every day, more people flee the conflict in Sudan, specifically from the Darfur and Kordofan regions, crossing into neighboring South Sudan at the Gouda border point in the Upper Nile State, from displaced Sudanese and returning refugees who have been living in the country since they fled the civil war in South Sudan.

Not far from the border city of Renk, arrivals are forced to spend the night in the open without services, and are denied access to the camp before getting registered at the increasingly crowded refugee center. The rainy season and shortfalls in funding by donors in the previous period hindered efforts to help people move away from the border and exacerbated the humanitarian situation there. Alaa Al-Khair is a Sudanese photographer who worked to document this journey and suffering from his perspective and in a narrative way through photos. He documented and narrated the details of displacement on the borders of South Sudan.

Source: Alaa Khair

Source: Alaa Khair


(9) Contra Band, Displacement memory

A series of interviews narrating the experience of individuals who had experienced war and forced displacement after the April war in Khartoum, and who witnessed wars that have plagued Sudan's history and the Sudanese people for decades. It brought back dark memories as they shed light on the distress with sincere emotions that reflected the devastating loss of home, possessions and lifestyle that they used to have in their beloved areas in Khartoum and other areas around Sudan. Amid the unknown future, lost past, and in a present overshadowed by the bloody fighting, millions of Sudanese stories remain untold, as no one listened to them and each one of them had their own story.

Produced by Contraband, a platform founded in 2018 by Ahmed Al-Tayeb, a young man with a medical background, to use all kinds of art for societal change while creating spaces for artists to showcase their work.


Their work is now based on educating the outside world about the Sudanese crisis through events held in Nairobi (Kenya) to deliver the message through music, in cooperation with Sudanese musicians to create an artistic space for them there, and in an innovative way to attract attention to what is happening in the Sudan war.

Source: Contra Band

Source: Contra Band


(10) Muhammad Al-Mustafa

In the absence of communication services, Muhammad Al-Mustafa became the sole connection between the residents of El-Obeid and the outside world. With the deterioration of the security situation and the lack of cash, the only solution for financial transactions was electronic banking applications and mobile wallets, which also became impossible as a result of the Internet outage.

Mohamed goes out in search of connection taking with him a piece of paper with the messages people want to send to their relatives and friends and the list of the deceased. Not only that, but he also documented the experience through his phone camera. Yhe young photographer Muhammad Al-Mustafa was one of the few who were able to access the Internet amid the complete blackout in North Kordofan.

Source: Mohamed Al-Mustafa

Source: Mohamed Al-Mustafa

(11) Marwan Muhammad

Nyala, the capital of South Darfur, is witnessing a bloody conflict that has extended to looting and destruction of civilians’ property. El Geneina, the capital of West Darfur, has witnessed violence and fighting since the outbreak of war back in April of last year. Then the final battles of the war moved to Zalingei, the capital of Central Darfur, and Kutum in North Darfur (about 40 kilometres north of the capital El Fasher) was also not spared from the military operations. 

The looting and destruction that accompanied the attacks and military operations not only forced the residents to flee but also deprived them of the resources that would help them survive. The situation there deteriorated and turned into a humanitarian catastrophe. Marwan Muhammad, the young photographer, captured and reflected a glimpse of this reality.

Source: Marwan Mohamed

Source: Marwan Mohamed


(12) Khartoon

A magazine that brought together young artists from diverse backgrounds, including doctors, musicians and journalists, to highlight the works of Sudanese cartoonists and the forgotten war in the country, creating art that reflects the political and social situation and provide us with illustrated reports on what is happening under the name Khartoon. It was founded by the Sudanese political cartoonist and cultural producer Khalid Wad Al-Baih.

Source: Khartoonmag


(13) Ahmed Fouad

"Everything Is Not Enough" is a collection of caricatures made by Ahmed Fouad, a young cartoonist, which expresses that despite all the tremendous efforts made by artists and young people, the extent of the truth and the tragedy are much more substantial. What they produced is only part of the reality of what is happening, what the people lived and experienced, and the extent of the damage to which the Sudanese were exposed.

Source: Ahmed Fouad

Israa Alrrayah

I am a 23 year old Sudanese with a background in the legal field. I have for the past years been enthusiastic about photography but I had not seriously taken it into practice. It was after the Sudan war broke out that I decided to actively use my photography skills to document people’s unique experiences.