Sudanese artist Rashid Drar used to work from home. Now the 44-year-old’s canvas is any empty piece of wall he can find nearby a month-long sit-in outside the Defense Ministry in Sudan’s capital, Khartoum. Rashid is one of the many protesters who have embraced art as a form of revolutionary expression in the face of the political movement that brought down former President Omar al-Bashir and that is now pushing for the military council that replaced him to hand power to civilians.
The wide street in front of the Defense Ministry where thousands have been protesting since April 6 has been transformed into a cultural hub dotted with makeshift tents. Alongside fiery political speeches, crowds that have flocked to the area from across Sudan enjoy music recitals, dance shows, photography exhibitions, chess tournaments, and book readings. Most strikingly, murals have been mushrooming on the walls around the military headquarters, creating an impromptu open-air exhibition of hundreds of wall paintings, which all come together to symbolize the peaceful revolution taking place.