A thousand faces, a thousand stories. Ahmad Abushakeema is the founder of the site, ‘1000 Portraits from Sudan‘, which he created to portray 1000 different faces from Sudan in an artistic attempt to tell the tale of a nation that’s made of various ethnics and backgrounds. The site is growing in popularity, as is an attractive way to share the Sudanese story through pictures. We interviewed Abushakeema to find out more about him and the inspiration behind his project.
Tell us about yourself
My name is Ahmad Abushakeema. I am a 27 years old engineering student from the northern states of Sudan and currently reside in Khartoum after living in Saudi Arabia for 17 years.
What is your biggest inspiration behind ‘1000 Portraits From Sudan’?
After living in Sudan for 9 years, I became conscious of the diversity we have in ethnicities, tribes, religions and backgrounds, but I also noticed a lack of documentation of this diversity. Since I am photographer, I thought of using my skills to share this diversity with the world through my project “1000 Portraits From Sudan” taking a thousand portraits that I hope will carry within them our true image and story.
Why is it so important to tell the Sudanese story through photography?
I have always thought of photography as my way to tell stories, probably because I find photography to be one of the most expressive forms of art. The thing about taking a photograph is that it freezes time at that one specific moment you want others to observe with you, or refer back to it whenever they want to. This is important because as far as I’m concerned, Sudan is constantly changing, and I think we need to document each version of the country that we live in as it continues to evolve.
What do you expect people to take away from your site after they have viewed it?
My aim is to reflect a true image of Sudan [to the extent that my lens allows me] for the world to see, and for future generations to enjoy. There is a lot to know and learn about the times we live in now, including the diversity that exists, how people are suffering and enjoying their lives here and how things look and how warm they feel now. And that’s exactly what I want, I want people to be touched when they see my photographs.
Image: Courtesy Ahmad Abushakeema
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