Shiraz Jamma had a brief chat with young artist and designer Issraa El-Kogali on her exhibition 'Nora's Cloth' showing currently in London’s W3 Gallery in Acton and the work’s perspective on Sudanese women, clothing and identity.
اجرت شيراز جماع مقابلة مع الفنانة الشابة اسراء الكوقلي وكان الحوار حول معرضها الحالي قماشة نورا ، المراة االسودانية والملابس والهوية الذي يعرض حاليا في
W3 gallery Acton
She adds further that, “You don't make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved. This is why I am so passionate about photography."
When asked to describe her entry, she describes a particular sight that caught her eye: "I was walking around the Portobello Road market in Notting Hill last month. The rusty metal road signs of Notting Hill Gate, Portobello Road and Abbey Road caught my attention outside one of the tourist shops there, as these are some of the most iconic areas in London. I liked the rustiness of the signs and the textures. It simply symbolizes London."
Salma is currently in the process of building her own photography website. Her current photography material can be found here at
You can vote for Salma's entry through this link: http://bit.ly/1gSRE6R The closing date for voting is on Thursday 24th April. The winners will be announced on 2nd May 2014.
In preparation for the event the SCIC organised a competition for the Sudanese schools in London asking the children to make cards, poems or paintings depicting 'why their mother was the best mummy?' The competition was a success with a great number of children taking part and presenting outstanding pieces.
The committee for the competition made up of the ustaza Mona Al Rashid Diab from Azza School, Shiraz Jamma and Randa Elobeid struggled to pick the winners but finally chose 16 year old Azza for first place and awarded her a traditional Sudanese Toub garment to present to her aunt . Second place went to 8 year old Hiba who won a box of chocolate which the committee hopes Hiba will share with her mother and siblings . Certificates were awarded to all the children who took part in the competition. The Adults also took part in a raffle that guaranteed four lucky mothers a toub each, generously donated from Al Anaga store in Shepherds Bush.
The previous committee member Abbia also received a card signed by the her colleagues and guests and a toub also donated by Al Anaga store in recognition of all her hard work and dedication to the community work.
The SCIC would like to give a special thank you to Altras agency who kindly contribution to the event.
احتفلت الجالية السودانية تحت اشراف مكتب المراة والطفل في لندن تحت اشراف الاستاذه عفاف عمر بعيد الام في امسيه خاصه بالسيدات في ليلة 06 من ابريل على ايقاعات الموسيقى السودانية و أضاف الحضور النسائى اناقة سودانية مميزه بالوان التياب السودانية الزاهية
الفنانة السودانية المتألقة شروق أبو الناس أدخلت البهجة على قلوب الحضور بصوتها الدافئ في ليل لندن البارد حين غنت كوكتيل مشكل من الأغاني السودانية القديمة والحديثة و مجموعه من اغانيها الخاصة ،شروق أيضا غنت رساله الى امي وتكلمت عن أهمية الاحتفال بالأمهات و العلاقة المميزة التي تربط بين الام واطفالها
قامت الجالية قبل الاحتفال بتنظيم مسابقه لأطفال المدارس السودانية بتقديم قصائد، كروت او اشعار عن لماذا يعتبرون ان امهم هي احسن ام و ابدع الأطفال في تقديم اجمل اللوحات التي تعبر عن حبهم وامتنانهم لأمهاتهم واحتارات لجنة الاختيار المتكونة من استاذه منى الراشد دياب من مدرسة عزه، شيراز جماع ورندا الابيض اختيار الفائزين.
اختارت اللجنة عزه ذو ال16 سنه التي فازت بتوب هديه لامها و المركز الثاني كان من نصيب الطفله هبه التي فازت بصندوق شوكلاه
قامت اللجنة أيضا بتقديم شهادات امتياز لباقي الأطفال
الكبار أيضا دخلوا في قرعة وفازات اربع من الأمهات بتوب سوداني مقدم من محل الاناقة من شبرد بش
تم تكريم ابية الامين سكرتيرته الشؤون الاجتماعيه في الدوره الماضيه في الاحتفال وتقديم كرت وهديه لها تقديراّ للمجهود الذي بذلته في عملها للجاليه
الجالية تتقدم بالشكر لشركة الترس للمساهمة المالية فى الحفلة
Compiled by Osama Mahmoud
The Arts Canteen presented Amira Kheir gig/album launch held at London RichMix. A vibrant venue known for supporting widespread art projects and artists. Whether it is an independent film opening, album launch, theatre plays, comedy gig or projects along the line.
On a cold Thursday evening, Feb the 20th 2014, diverse groups of people from all walks of life descended to East London Richmix to witness Amira Kheir second album launchALSAHRAA – the desert (2014 Contro Cultura Music/ Sterns African Music / produced by Amira Kheir). The designated room looked cosy with dim blue and red light, reflecting the mixed music styles Amira is blessed with. A blend of soul, blue, folk, jazz, African and Sufi music. The diversity of her music extended to her band, which was assembled in London, and beyond London. Music brought them together from different corners of the world Sudan, Egypt, Colombia, Senegal and many more. Amira sang 11 songs and here are the song set:
In Africa Room 25 at the British Museum, inside a glass case stands a wooden slit drum, resting after a long and adventurous life spanning centuries, continents, cultures, religions and languages. This drum is a witness to human ambition, a casualty of war and a testimony to resilience.
Yet this drum’s story began long before this point and has continued long after it. The drum began its life in Central Africa where slit drums were an integral part of community life. It was used to make music, to mark community events such as births and deaths, to call men to hunt or to arms and to transmit messages over long distances as its sound can carry for miles.
Made from a single piece of reddish coral wood found in the forests of Central Africa, the drum looks like a calf with very short legs a long head and a short tail. It’s around 9 feet long from nose to tail and 2 feet high. The body of the drum is hollow and running across the top of the back is a slit. The sides of the body of the drum are carved to different thicknesses allowing the drum to produce different tones and pitches when it’s played.
The drum is thought to have come to Khartoum as part of the slave trade which operated in the region then under the Turkish-Egyptian rule. The drum might have been seized as booty by slave raiders or given by a local chief.
Once in Khartoum the drum was re-branded by its new owners and incorporated into the society. On each side of the drum running the whole lengths of the body is a carved rectangle containing circles and geometric patterns attributed to the Islamic influence of this new society. On one side the design is cut into the body of the wood and on the other side the wood is planed away to create the design. This new design not only changed the external appearance of the drum but also the sound it made giving the drum a different voice.
In its new home the drum witnessed the growing resentment to the Turkish-Egyptian occupation of Sudan, the invasion and occupation of Egypt by Britain in 1882 and the demise of General Charles Gordon and his army in the revolt lead by Muhammad Ahmed the Mahdi in 1885. Under Mahdi-ruled Sudan the drum again found its self in a new landscape where it remained for 13 years, patiently waiting for its next adventure.
The adventure came when economic rivalries among the European empires resulted in the ‘Scramble for Africa’. Britain wanted to create a ‘Cape- to-Cairo chain of colonies and in a bid to prevent other foreign powers from entering the area they invaded and colonized Sudan in 1898. An Anglo-Egyptian army under the command of General Herbert Kitchener defeated the Mahdi army then lead by Khalifa Abdullahi at the famous battle of Omdurman and it’s this event which made the drum’s journey to Europe inevitable.
The drum was found by Kitchener’s army somewhere near Khartoum after they took over the city and as had happened before the drum found its self being re-branded in preparation for its new life. General Kitchener had a very small emblem of the British Imperial Crown carved on the end of the tail of the drum and then presented the drum to Queen Victoria.
Now at the British Museum the drum silently tells visitors its story through the carvings on its body and again waits patiently for its next adventure.
Sudan, al- Mahdiya period, late 19th century reads the label next to the drum informing visitors that the drum was taken from the forces of the Khalifa Abdullahi following the battle of Omdurman in 1898.
Mo Jamma had the chance to sit down with folk singer-songwriter Eliza Shaddad for a brief interview. What follows is an edited transcript of a recorded interview at the Sudanese Independence Day Event, Sloane Center, Park Royal.
MJ: So tell us a little bit about yourself?
My name is Eliza Shaddad, I'm half-Sudanese, and half-Scottish. I was born in England and grew up sort of in Europe, with time in Scotland and time in Sudan. I've got an MPhil in philosophy and Post-Graduate Studies in Jazz, and now I'm currently a musician in London. I do solo work and work with other groups.
MJ: What inspired you to take on music?
I've always done music in my spare time. I used to make up songs in primary school, and I auditioned to become the school secretary for the student council via rap, because it hit me from an early age. At school I would do a lot of musical theater. At university I got into a lot of hip hop and began writing music, went to many festivals, started getting into folk music, studied jazz and now trying to let all of that out.
MJ: So you've got an eclectic taste.
Yeah, I think so.
MJ: What musicians do you enjoy in particular?
Again, all sorts, but at the minute, I'm sort of obsessed with people whose lyrics I love. Quite folky people - Joni Mitchell and Bob Dylan have been massive inspirations. And I guess I'm always listening out to new music, listening out to the folk scene. I like all the interesting things coming out and change in the pop charts from people like Alt-J. But more along the lines of the standard classics.
MJ: What are you currently working on: music-wise?
At the moment, I have two big projects: one is an EP which is coming out in April, my own work, which I did with an amazing producer down in Devon called Chris Bond. He worked on Ben Howard's most recent album, which is wonderful. I'm also collaborating with a band by the name of Clean Bandit. They're quite dancey, and number 1 at the moment. They're releasing an album soon this spring, and I've got two songs which I've worked on there.
MJ: Sounds pretty cool!
Yes, it is! Hopefully, the album will be number 1.
MJ: It's a very good time for you.
A very exciting time.
MJ: Is this your first Sudanese event and do you look forward to it?
Yeah, it is the first one, and I'm very nervous. Especially since I can't speak very fluent Arabic, so I can't sing any songs in Arabic.
MJ: So when is your next concert, after tonight?
That's a very good question. It's on the 20th February at The Waiting Rooms in Stoke Newington, where I will be supporting a very good band called Matthew & Me.
MJ: Matthew & Me. Interesting name.
Yep, they're great.
MJ: So are they folk-too?
Yeah, they're quite folky, with amazing harmonies. I do a few things on my own. They're quite a large group, I think there's 7 of them the last time I looked.
MJ: Where can people go if they wish to contact you?
I have every website imaginable: I have www.elizashaddad.com, and that will take you to Facebook, Twitter, Reverbnation - if you want to go that far - Soundcloud, Bandcamp, everything.
MJ: What does the future hold?
Dun! Dun! Dun! World domination! The next step will be to release an album, to work on new material, and keep collaborating with different people. And also, to make sure the next big project is one of my own.
MJ: Well, good luck to you! I hope it works out.
Art and Culture
SCIC - London
Sudanese Community and Information Centre - London