Frédérique Cifuentes’ position:
Disappearing heritage of Sudan, 1820 – 1956
Photographic and filmic exploration in Sudan
Exhibit concept: Frederique Cifuentes undertook photographic and filmic research in Sudan from 2004 to 2010. One of the most important outcomes of this journey was to build up a new and unique collection of photographs and videos that documents the remnants of the colonial experience in Sudan from the Ottoman, Egyptian, and British periods. All the materials taken during these journeys were showcased in the exhibition Disappearing heritage of Sudan, 1820 – 1956. It offered a different way of looking at imperial history.
This photographic and video project was an exploration of the mechanics of empires through its official buildings, private residencies, cinema houses, railways, irrigation canals, and bridges. This research, the only one of its kind, highlighted colonial architecture, design and construction and the impact they had on Sudanese society before and after Independence in 1956. It helped us understand the ways in which people appropriated and used the buildings.
Exhibit content: the exhibition comprised of materials created by Frederique Cifuentes and from Durham University’s Sudan Archive. Many of the country’s old buildings have fallen victim to wider economic development or lack of a preservation campaign. This study showed different aspects and forms of the rich colonial architectural heritage in Sudan before it vanishes completely. This was an illustrated history of a unique cultural landscape.
Disappearing heritage of Sudan, 1820 – 1956 was shown at the Brunei Gallery, London, 17 April – 24 June 2012, at the Oriental Museum Durham in November 2012, and finally at the Mirghany Cultural Center in 2013, Sudan.