The largest photography exhibition by a single photographer in Sudan, titled ‘Faces Of Sudan’, was launched Tuesday at the Malaysian Embassy in Khartoum promoting the people, landmarks and unique heritage that represent the many ‘Faces of Sudan’.
The week-long exhibition features the photographic work of Mushamir Mustafa, and the breathtaking photos offered surprising images of a resource rich country full of untapped opportunities and the mysteries of a lost world.
Traveling across Sudan over a period of four months, he visited Jebel Awlia, Jebel Barkal, Sennar, Shendi, Bajrawiya, Karima, Nouri and the Dinder National Park just to name a few where he also enjoyed cultural performances and Sudanese food and hospitality and through his photographs portrayed a side of Sudan that even many locals were surprised to see.
Displaying nearly 220 photography exhibits , the project under the patronage of Malaysian Ambassador Mustafa Hj. Mansor, whose vision is to draw the world’s eye to Sudan as a huge, untapped tourism and investment market in light of positive news of the lifting of US economic sanctions.
“There’s a lot of potential in Sudan for economic activities and for tourism. With US sanctions easing off, hopefully Sudan will develop more in terms of it’s economy and trade,” the Malaysian Ambassador said at the launching ceremony.
‘Sudan is developing very well, they are in the right path and the government of Sudan is trying to develop their natural resources, minerals, agriculture, and many more areas of the country are still being developed. I hope that world will see the unexplored, best side of Sudan”.
He further commented that the exhibition is a good example of Malaysia-Sudanese cooperation, reflecting the good bilateral relations between the two countries, highlighting the recent opening of an all-girls’ school in Northern Khartoum by a Malaysian organization as well as a number of cooperation in the medical and educational field.
‘There are also a lot of Sudanese students studying in Malaysia, currently numbering around 1900 students’. He acknowledged just recently that UTM (Universiti Teknologi Malayia) came to Sudan to co-develop education modules plus a number Malaysian universities has come to woo Sudanese students to study in Malaysia.
Mustafa also described despite having massive tourism potentials – Sudan has after all 144 pyramids easily beating that of Egypt next door – the tourism sector us underdeveloped. The Ambassador took note of Mushamir’s previous photographic work as the founder of Humans of Kuala Lumpur (HOKL) on Facebook, a popular photojournalism platform where he photographs and interviews the people of KL, viewed by 15 million Malaysians, with nearly 50,000 page likes.
In describing the theme of the exhibition, Mushamir explains that it covers several different narratives. “The theme for Faces Of Sudan encompass portraits (men,women,and children), famous landmarks (Sudan’s ‘Forgotten’ pyramids and temples which number more than Egypt), the desert landscapes of the North to the savannah terrains of the South, sunrise and sunset time-lapse photography, wildlife, life in the villages, men at work, the Nile River and the life that it provides, Sudan’s unique transportation system and many more. Together, these form the various ‘Faces’ of Sudan.”
“It is a joy photographing Sudan, it is truly a photographer’s dream. The world needs to see more of what Sudan has,’ he surmised. Mushamir concluded by hoping that an exhibition in Khartoum – and soon one in Kuala Lumpur as well will help shine a light at Sudan’s hidden treasures and wishes that more Malaysians will visit Sudan, as many Sudanese surprisingly visit Malaysia due to the visa-free status.
“It is with the hope that as Sudan takes bigger steps in opening up to the world, it will showcase it’s wonderful gifts – from the ‘Forgotten Pyramids of Meroe and Bajrawiyah’ to the ‘Temple Of Amun’ at Jebel Barkal, the diverse geographical lands, it’s hospitality, food, history and culture, and most of all – it’s people.
Having spent the last few months traveling throughout Sudan, Mushamir who is founder of the popular photoblog ‘Humans of Kuala Lumpur’ and also a TEDx Speaker, he has also presented on ‘How Storytelling Can Change The World) and had counselled to the Malaysian Prime Minister on improving the Arts and Culture scene in Malaysia, will also be giving a photography workshop to be given to selected university students from the Sudan University of Science and Technology in conjunction with the week-long exhibit, in hopes of imparting knowledge on young Sudanese in the art of photography and storytelling.