Take a look around you, what do you see? A golden sun collapsing into the dark dusty clouds below. A woman carrying a large plate on her head filled with tied plastic bags of popcorn, peanuts and seeds, her red and orange tobe flapping in the wind. Sudan is a place of beauty if only you take a closer look.
This is what photography teaches us. To look at the world as if you were capturing it forever on a piece of paper.
A growing number of people in Sudan are seeing photography as an art form. Aside from advertising, family portraits and weddings, Sudanese are not known to use the camera. Today, however, there are young photographers trying to show this country and it’s cities in a new light.
The annual 500px Global Photo Event showed some forty or so camera enthusiasts make their way to Manshia to take part in a photography event aimed at highlighting Khartoum’s burgeoning photography scene.
“I like to photograph weird things,” said Abdelrahman Hejjai (pictured above). “I want to participate in international events, to enter competitions, I want people to pay attention to us.”
If the international community is looking away from Sudan these days, the people are looking inwards.
“Photography is awesome. I take a picture every day, everything I see.” Mazen, a student using his phone to photograph patterns on a wall said.“Cameras are expensive, but everyone has a smart phone”.
Mazen uploads his images to online image sharing programs like Instagram. Without instruction, a decent SLR or even a computer, Mazen can share his ideas to the entire world without ever leaving Sudan.
“What we need in Sudan is a place to teach photography, and more events like this,” he said.