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Nubia in colours : exploring identity, belonging and the right to a home

Where and when

Aswan, Egypt. 28 December 2014 to 15 January 2015

Theme description

After the fall out of the unity between Egypt and Sudan in the late 1950s, Nubia was split between Egypt and Sudan. In the 1970s, Egyptians embarked on a multimillion dollar project to build the high dam, in the process displacing thousands of Nubian families. Nubians who were forcefully evicted from the banks of the Nile were not given appropriate compensation. For many years, the government has been turning a deaf ear to the worsening status of Nubians, especially those who lost their home and continue to have little access to the Nile water, a main source of income. The result is extremely poor living conditions among Nubians residing in Egypt’s south. Meanwhile, Nubians who manage to migrate to the Delta face daily harassment based on their skin color.
Participants will explore notions of identity, geographical borders and our right to a home. They will also explore similar situations of displacement to make way for urbanization, and the cost of that on human life and the biodiversity of the surrounding environment. Participants will also explore the status of Nubians in contemporary Egypt, minority rights and the role of civil society in bettering the life of Egypt’s South.

Project description

Several NGOs are nestled in Aswan and aim toward developing the southern part of Egypt through art, encouraging musicians, bands, painters and volunteers from all around the country to flock south to help with painting, coloring and jamming with local musicians in a series of workshops. These workshops ensure a blend between the artwork produced and development projects that take place alongside, whether it is drawing on the walls of run-down homes in nearby villages or managing projects at Fekra. Participants should be ready to work with locals on various projects.

Participant profile

Selected participants should have an interest in the arts, whether visual or performing arts, and a talent to use their skills in bridging cultural gaps. Participants should foster a keenness to work with a marginalized
community, employing cultural sensitivity and a willingness to understand the origins of the conflict and its manifestation in contemporary Egyptian life.

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