We have been working in Sudan for the past decade, helping to celebrate and preserve the country’s cultural heritage. Working as part of a multi-national team we run workshops and training courses, in partnership with the National Museum of Sudan, to help build skills and capacity in all aspects of digital media, including filmmaking, photography, archiving and museum services.
Sudan ‘s unique cultural heritage has been disrupted and undermined by decades of conflict, neglect and displacement. More than 4 million people are internally displaced and the cultural sector is battered and bruised. Nevertheless Sudanese people still place great value on their heritage, which remains a vital and celebrated part of national and regional identities.
Since 2018 we have been working on the ‘Western Sudan Community Museums Project‘, a ground-breaking initiative funded by the British Council and the Aliph Foundation. We are collaborating with Kings College London, Cambridge University, ICCROM, the Sudanese Ministry of Culture and Mallinson Architects, to refurbish 3 regional museums; in El Obeid (in the Southern state of Khordofan), Omdurman (to the North of Khartoum) and Nyala (in South Darfur). All three museums are in areas that have suffered from decades of neglect and regional conflict.
The project is focused on developing a community-based approach to cultural heritage, bringing together local communities to conserve, share and celebrate their cultures. The three museums are owned and managed by the communities, who collaborate across ethnic and cultural divides to define each museum’s agenda, content and priorities. The museums are becoming cultural hubs; at the centre of a network of outreach, working with community groups, schools, colleges and Universities.
Our role is focused on developing media content for the museums, training and mentoring a team of Sudanese filmmakers and photographers to document and celebrate the rich and diverse cultures of these regions. In 2021 we installed bespoke, interactive cinemas in each of the museums, showing a selection of 52 films that had been made by our local teams, some of which incorporate colonial archive films (from the Durham University Sudan Archive) that date from the 1940s and 50s have not been seen in Sudan before. Films and photographs from the project can be seen on the links below.