Against the Writers Union Shutdown, Read Stories and Poems from Sudan

great!

Arabic Literature (in English)

The Sudanese Writers Union and the monthly “Mafroush” book market — both now shuttered — were vital cultural spaces in Khartoum:

From the Prince Claus Foundation, which celebrated the SWU in 2007. From the Prince Claus Foundation, which celebrated the SWU in 2007.

As I wrote in a piece at Al Jazeera, the union initially opened in 1986, during the brief Sadiq al-Mahdi coalition government.

When Omar al-Bashir came to power in 1989, the union was one of the first organizations he banned, and writers were expelled from the historic building granted them by the previous government. The union was relaunched in 2005, after a peace treaty was signed between north and south Sudan. Then, civil space seemed to open up again.

Since that time, poet and cultural activist Mamoun Eltlib said in a Skype interview, the Writers Union has been one of the main platforms for cultural organizing in Sudan. “They have an office and buildings, space for events, music…

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