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Salman Different Photographer From Sudan

In the name of Allah, the Merciful

Interviewer: Mohamed Saad Kamil

Translator: Haneen Mohamed Osman

      What makes a photographer shine, his large number of observations, his imagination, or his academic approach and theories of imaging?

I count on all what you have mentioned about the conditions that show the talent of the photographer, but the most important is (visual memory), and the more cultures and different environments the photographer see the more it influence his creative choices, I stress on the importance of the visual memory revitalization and its continuous updating because it is a platform that a photographer launches Serious work and professions, as it is a tradition to visit the exhibitions of chief artists and artistic activities that have a major role in developing visual memory and one of its advantages is that it gives us multiple options in front of every point or scene of beauty in terms of angle of capturing, experience and so on.

        You traveled repeatedly inside and outside Sudan and won many great artistic awards. Our question: Do you think that traveling and continuous tourism in your life played a role in distinguishing you as a well-known photographer who has his own creativity?

Yes, I traveled and moved inside and outside Sudan, I can almost say that I visited all the states of Sudan with its different geographic regions, as I traveled in various available ways: flying, trains, boat, and walking on foot in many times, I traveled in the lorries from El Fasher to Derbat market,  from it walking on foot to Jebel (Sonia) and climbed to its peak and my trip from East (Jebel Marra) to its west took three days, and here I record my greatest desires as well as my respect for all Sudanese tribes Wherever you turn, you will find hospitality, generosity, rich cultural diversity and great ethics. And throughout the trip between (Nyala) and (Khartoum) exists dozens of environments and its cultures and climates, that we documented them in picture. yes, I benefited a lot from traveling, and I often go on three trips, internal or external, or more per year, and of course, each of these trips are reflected on my artistic path with my photo.

        The number of photographers has increased nowadays, especially since the issue of owing a camera has become easier than the past, so how do you look over this from the angle of its impact on the profession of photography?

The increase in the number of photographers and the ease with which modern cameras can be used these days is a positive and important matter, as it enriches the artistic field and the spirit of competition necessary for creativity. Young photographers were able to achieve big accomplishments in social media platform taking advantage of photography technology development, they reflected with their cameras sides of life and the environment which was required and difficult few for years ago, for example, I used to work with films, were I pay for a studio in my city (Kosti) to be sent to a lab in Khartoum, and return to receive it after three days, we used to wait for (special photos envelopes) such as waiting for a baby in the operation theatre, but the modern (digital) cameras has provided us with a lot of energy and effort now.

        Does the artistic interference of (Photo-shop) in pictures modification has a negative impact on the content of the idea the photographer wanted?

When it comes to the interference of (photo-shop) in pictures modification, I see that it should be to the level that does not affect the pictures origin (portraiture), for example, so that the basic features of the person are not blurred. We return to photo-shop in case of appearance of something unwanted in the picture and so on, as photography competitions committees: accept some modifications that do not affect the subject and content of the image.

      Does the images or pictures play a role in combating harmful habits in society, such as female genital mutilation, Underage marriage, smoking and others?

No doubts that the message pictures carries are more effective than any other medium, especially as it diminishes time consumption and effort exerted to deliver the content of the message, however this depends on the quality and reliability of the image directed around any of the negative social phenomena’s, and this falls within the framework of the professional photographer social responsibility.

Can pictures be a cause of war or a point to its end at the same time … How do you explain this?

Indeed, the picture depicts the physical evidence of atrocity of the war and the extent of damage in a given region, as it is the material that documents and contribute to dragging the international public opinion of other countries to adopt the views and lead to ending this war and this is what happened in (Vietnam) in the late 1960s and in Somalia in the early 1990s, and plenty there are examples.

     Do you think that the great cultural diversity in Sudan affected your creative career path in special way or provided you with the opportunity to shine?

Thank God plentifully that my mum gave me birth as Sudanese and that I belonged to this great nation, truly there is an effective effect of this attachment in the core of my memory, and my visual pleasure which the Sudanese culture has supplied with tens of, but hundreds of frames and the intellectual and aesthetic formats that have made the photography picture a tool or a mediator that carries civilizational and humanitarian content that documents for one of the oldest civilizations that old and modern history recognize.

We have proceeded with an initiative (Sudan with Saudi eyes) in cooperation with the honorable distinguished Saudi photographer’s brothers, so their impression about Sudan and its society came as astonishing for the magnificence and ease of Sudanese people responses to the picture during the shooting or in the exhibition.

           Tell us about your participation in the internal and external photography exhibitions?

On the level of internal participation, I organized my business first private exhibition in the year 1994 in the green dome in Khartoum (Al-Waha Mall) nowadays that was inaugurated by Mrs. Maryam SirAl-Khatim the Minister of Social Planning at that time, the success of this exhibition was a great motivation for my continuation in organizing more exhibitions. I organized ten internal exhibitions in (National Museum, Grand Holiday Villa, Union of Employers Association hall) and others, however at the level of external participation, I organized the first exhibition in the city(Jeddah) in Saudi Arabia in the year 2000, and in the Baghdad Photographic Festival (2002) and another exhibition in Sudan Club in Baghdad, as well as an exhibition in Syria, and another exhibition in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) on the occasion of the Independence day , and another exhibition Later in  the occasion of the inauguration of the Sudanese Cultural Club in Al-Dafna Qatar, and in the year 2008 I participated in Sudan Week in Brussel, and I also participated in an exhibition at the Nubian Club in (La haye) in Holland about (Nubian civilization), I returned to Belgium in 2011 again to organize an exhibition in collaboration with the artists Naji Al-Zubair Al-Malak and Mubarak Hataa in the city of (Lucerne), and the visit was repeated in the same year 2011  to (La haye) with the photographer Mubarak Hataa, to organize an exhibition and offer lectures in the Nubian club. I arranged a combined exhibition with the colleague Mubarak hatta in Germany at House of the Sudanese community in Berlin, in the year 2014 I participated in an exhibition in Roma university faculty of Archeology about Nubian civilization, and in 2016 participated in an exhibition in Moscow on the anniversary of sixty years of Sudanese-Russian relations, which was the last exhibition outside, and these external exhibitions permeated an exhibition in Saudi Arabia 2015-2017 which was well received by visitors, and we were able to reflect some of the features of the great Sudanese culture, which is a message we carry with all love to the world whenever we find a way to pass.

A picture that you captured and was a reason of sadness or joy and you could not overcome?

There are hundreds of pictures in the memory, but the pictures that I captured for children specifically, it brings a lot of happiness that I derive from their joy while they watch it, and what saddened me so much was a picture for a child who is special need in the city of Alrosariss, who was crawling on sand to watch us and the delegation of the Saudi photographers with the rest of children. After returning to Khartoum, we had to send him (a wheel chair), and many others stories were time wont assistance us to share it in details.

Your most important projects in the field of photography?

(Memory of the Nation) project, I own and Thank God, more than one hundred and sixty thousand photos, I have pictures that are more than thirty-five years old, and from the ironic: There is in the archive a picture for a one-day-old girl with a picture of her on her wedding day, and another one for a girl in Kindergarten to photograph her again on the day of its graduation from university, when I started capturing I was a middle school student with a camera (110), and while I was reorganizing the Archive of pictures During this Corona ban – I found hundreds of pictures of politicians, artists, musicians, various occasions, including pictures that work as a documentation, For example: ( Sineat AlGandool) that is not there anymore as well as the (green dome library) which was located previously in the area of the Alwaha Mall, the Memory of the Nation project is important and necessary in relation to this, some of its episodes were broadcasted in the television, which depends on the photographs, which was then stopped due to immigration settings, but I will work to implement it as soon as I return to Sudan, if God will.

Did your beginnings in Kosti City influence your path of creativity with photography?

Definitely, because the beloved Kosti city represented Sudan before the separation of the South, first: the different and various features and energy of Sudan youngsters. When I was young I used to go to the port, railway stations (Nyala railway station, mutual train coming from AlObeid) and with this Kosti community was open to all of Sudan. In a society that does not know tribal or religious classifications, and in school we sit side by side with sons of Christians and the Indians and others, in addition to the artistic activities that are abundant in Kosti, which brought up many artists and skilled musicians in the arena, as well as its the city that came out with (Altam tam) rhythm, which is popular and loved among all Sudanese. Kosti has been a great influence on the artistic and humanitarian figures.

The most important projects that you have accomplished in the field of photography?

Documentation of the Nile River path is the largest project that I have accomplished in the field of photography, this project took seven years to work on from Lake Tana Victoria to Domiaat and Rashid in Egypt. I started this project on my personal expenses at the middle of the way I made  partnership with another person , so as to travel to Ethiopia through aviation and from there to Uganda and Kenya in southern Sudan, then Sudan and Egypt, I portrayed animals rich in diversity, beauty and originality, portrayed mosques, churches and all the common cultures between the societies of the Nile from the source to the river mouth, and as it is known that the Egyptian media has covered a great part in the Nile documentation. It does not matter, except that Sudan is the one that needs to put a lot of media effort to achieve this goal. This effort was born in two books

{AlNile Gisat Omor (The Nile is a life story) and Gisat Sowar (Story of Pictures)} and I chose those address as it links my life with the Nile (Kosti, Al-Azouzab, Berber, Abu Hamad) And all of them are born on the middle of the Nile, and there you can find pictorial materials about the Nile sufficient to produce dozens of books, for example: (The manufacture of boats and their forms in the Nile (this is a long and important topic of history and civilization.

                                                                                                                   To conclude, tell us about the initiative (Sudan with Sudanese eyes)? 

This initiative started in the years 2015 and 2017 when I was honored to accompany a Saudi traveler and a photographer in a visit that included seven Sudanese states in one week, and the second tour was accompanied by two Saudi photographers in state of Khartoum, and in the year 2018 a delegation of Saudi photographers arrived, and we visited a number of states in the country, and accompanied us the camera of (Land of Brown), which shared an episode of the delegation remarking that this initiative was covered in autumn season. and this initiative had a significant cultural impact on the members of the delegation who are still looking forward to organizing a second round of this initiative, and we were happy and pleasured with the visit of our Saudi brother’s to Sudan and we look forward to Supporting and promoting such successful initiatives.

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