About me

Issam Abdelhafiez

I have always painted. I have painted plants, the sun and happy faces when I was a child. I did not know what pain and war was then. I grow up in country that is characterized by prolonged periods of dictator totalitarian regimes. I got to know about war in the south, a daily accumulation of pain. It was long scattered and not directly felt. It was the war in the beloved south Sudan. Like many artists in my generation we emerged as optimistic and strong youth. We resisted all that in our own way, we painted love and we painted pain. Painting to me was part of my daily life, it is like waking up and drinking my morning tea…. it was normal… if living in war is normal. A dialogue between the pain and paint started and intertwined. Painting was conscious emotions poured out in times of death, aggression and displacement and absence of freedom, it was pain visualized. It was expression in time when expression was denied.
Now the pain is bigger, the color is deeper. During the last few months I have painted a cry to Azoom.
Now the acts of violence and aggression are more condensed. The killing is normalized, the young girls their innocence was stolen on horsebacks, the journey from the peaceful homes was collective. The color of the dresses of the mothers lining up waiting for ration of food brought form far away lands made me cry the dignity of Azoom. I painted these cries. I am crying out for justice and dignity before Azoom dries-up.
How loud is my cry?
This time around I want to cry loud enough to be heard at Azoom. I want to cry to reach out for the women and girls who have experience violence in Darfur. I am planning an exhibition where 17 paintings will be displayed. During the exhibition drumming for peace will be organized. A media campaign will be planned to disclose the acts of violence against women in Darfur.