The photographer and author Enikö Nagy has spent several years collecting everyday moments - in photography and spoken word - from over 45 tribes and ethnic groups across 30,000km of Sudan in some of the hardest-to-access regions of the world to produce the English-Arabic bilingual poetic picture book Sand in My Eyes: Sudanese Moments, that this exhibition is drawn from. Reclaiming the narrative about Sudan, the epic journey provides an intimate look into a people and the human experience.
Presenting very different images to those one might expect from Sudan this exhibition is taken from the over 26,000 photos, and 2,500 pieces of traditional narratives Enikö has collected. The stunning photographs capture the mood and poetry of everyday moments and rare ceremonies, while folk tales, legends, myths, poetry, proverbs and anecdotes draw you into the social fabric.
Through a composition of images and spoken word, arranged to a day in Sudan from dawn till night, across different regions and lifestyles, a visual narrative unfolds - of Sudan’s rich and varied cultural patterns, traditions, landscapes, and life philosophy. The text themes explore nomadic life, rootedness of subsistence farmers, individuality and community, concepts of generosity and kindness, of masculinity and femininity, homemaking, rituals, spiritual life, and respect for elders.
Showing daily moments in Sudanese life in their beauty and oddness coupled with traditional narratives, adds another level of understanding. More than texts and photos, together they transmit a feeling and some substance.
The London showing of the travelling exhibition is co-presented by the Brunei Gallery, SOAS and the Embassy of the Republic of Sudan on its tour to Germany; Austria; the Netherlands; Norway; Belgium; France; Italy; Spain; the USA and Sudan. Signed copies of the literary coffee table book Sand in My Eyes: Sudanese Moments published in 2014 (ISBN 9783940190079, Foreword by UNESCO) will be available from the SOAS Bookshop accompanying the exhibition.
Enikö Nagy, a social pedagogue, born in Romania in 1979 to parents of Hungarian origin, grew up in Germany. A former development advisor for the DED (German Development Service) and an international expert for UNESCO, she is a freelance consultant on development and a researcher on intangible heritage in different parts of Sudan, where she has lived for the past nine years.