Sudanese Digital and Visual Artist Amado Alfadni

Sudanese Digital and Visual Artist Amado Alfadni

Amado Alfadni is a multi media visual artist from Sudan. His work comprises of his African and Middle Eastern influences.

As a Sudanese diaspora Cairene artist, Amado Al-Fadni’s life has been shaped by the intersection of two distinct environments – the rich cultural tapestry of Sudan and the cosmopolitan bustle of Cairo. In his art, he explores the complexities of identity, drawing inspiration from his heritage, upbringing, and personal experiences.

Growing up, Al-Fadni was immersed in the vibrant culture of Sudan through his mother’s captivating stories of her childhood in Old Dongla. These narratives painted a vivid picture of therianthropy, family expeditions, and the decision of his grandfather to break away from the family slavery business. The scent of Bint el Sudan perfume and the taste of homemade peanut butter served as constant reminders of his Sudanese roots, even in the bustling streets of Cairo.

However, Al-Fadni’s identity was also shaped by his experiences in Egyptian society and education system, where he encountered conflicting narratives about black identity. While his family stories celebrated Sudanese heritage, his school curriculum often portrayed Sudan in a negative light, perpetuating stereotypes of the ‘black’ Arab. This clash of narratives prompted Al-Fadni to delve deeper into the complexities of black identity, leading him to explore diverse black communities in downtown Cairo and challenge prevailing stereotypes through his art.

The 2011 revolution in Egypt served as a catalyst for Al-Fadni’s exploration of historical revisionism and the contestation of negative stereotypes. Turning to colonial archives, he sought alternative narratives of Sudanese history, particularly the overlooked stories of Sudanese soldiers who fought in the Mexican French war. Through his Black Ivory Project, Al-Fadni sheds light on the untold stories of these slave soldiers, amplifying their voices and reclaiming their narratives from the shadows of history.

In his quest to unearth silenced histories, Al-Fadni faced challenges, including resistance from the very communities he sought to represent. However, his perseverance led to groundbreaking projects such as the Alternative Museum of the Sudan, which seeks to redefine Sudanese identity beyond colonial propaganda and stereotypes.

Through his art, Al-Fadni invites viewers to reconsider their perceptions of black identity and engage with the complexities of Sudanese history and culture. By challenging prevailing narratives and amplifying marginalized voices, he offers a glimpse into the rich tapestry of Sudanese heritage and the diverse experiences of black communities around the world.

Amado Al-Fadni’s artistic journey is not just a personal exploration of identity; it is a testament to the power of art to challenge, provoke, and inspire change. As he continues to push the boundaries of artistic expression, Al-Fadni reminds us of the importance of embracing complexity and diversity in our understanding of the world around us.

My work discusses the relationship between the included and the excluded, and opens dialogue on issues of identity and politics. By working with forgotten historical events and current state policies, I raise questions of power dynamics between the individual and authority on a social and political level. Giving a voice to actinic / political minorities.

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