Despite its long history, Sudan’s College of Fine and Applied Arts has had funding problems for decades. Now some of its graduates are trying to revive the country’s oldest art education institution.
Following the popular uprising that toppled Sudan’s former President Omar al-Bashir in 2019, a number of the college’s graduates have formed voluntary groups to revive arts education after years of what many called the “neglect and sabotage” of Bashir’s regime.
The volunteers say the former dictator’s government “cut down the college budget,” deprived the school’s graduates of public employment, and appointed regime loyalists as academics. (See a related article, “Sudan Shutters All Its Universities.”)
Abdul-Rahman Abdullah Shanqal, dean of the College of Fine and Applied Arts, said the institution “inherited heavy concerns and countless problems” over facilities, materials and teaching curricula. It is also struggling with a severe shortage of supplies and a lack of academic staff, he added.
Training in Visual Documentation
Issam Abdelhafeez, an artist and graduate of the college in the early 1980s, is one of the volunteers helping the college now. He recently organized a three-month training program in visual documentation for college students and provided them with photographic equipment, with help from Sudan Memory, a project funded by the British Council.