Tag Archives: Sudan

Philosophising on money – returned refugee settlement, Juba

20131022_134201

 

Money makes the
World dance.
Dance for you
A big dance a
Great waltz
Money breaks mountain
down and irrigated deserts.
Money makes u able to
See well & show u the way
But my friend told
Me that the person
Who loves you
Because you have
Money, that person
Will bite you when
You have no money.
Money make great
Fools wise.
Money is love.
When you have a lots
Of money there re
Too many woman
Who love you.
When you’re poor
There’s hardly
Anyone to love u.
Money can buy
A human being!
Oh money, money
Hundreds of notes
Thousands of dollars &
Pound make u enjoy an
Earthly paradise but
Remember money kill!

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Maps of the Sudan border: the endless conversation

Maybe it’s working with Douglas Johnson, or for the Rift Valley Institute, or being a PhD student at Durham with the Sudan Archives, but I am fed up with the endless preoccupation with maps of the Sudan-South Sudan border.

The desperate search for the colonial maps of the 1956 boundary, which was then an internal administrative border, has flared up again today, as Vice President Riek Machar asked the British officials he met over Christmas in England to look for ‘missing’ maps of key border hotspots, apparently secreted away by the British in a fit of pique.

cropped-sudanmap.jpg

Apparently the message hasn’t been received.  There are no maps of the 1956 border from 1956.  The administrative borders were laid out on maps by the survey department from the 1930s through to the early 1950s; there’s no one map that shows, in sufficient detail, where the border exactly is in 1956.  A full collection of maps – I’m pretty certain there aren’t any missing ones?  I’ve seen the existing ones from the Nuba Mountains and Bahr al Ghazal in the Sudan Archive already – can be found in the Royal Geographical Society in London and the Sudan Archive in Durham.  These were consulted in early rounds of border demarcation exercises.

Continue reading

7 Comments

Filed under Archives, Current affairs, Politics

Back to Juba

After a lengthy summer hiatus, while I gave some conference papers and tidied up my affairs in England, I’m back to posting, and I’m back to Juba.

I’m starting a six month period of Arabic study, which I’m going to spend in Juba, learning modern standard Arabic in classes and trying to pick up Khartoum Arabic from my friends from Khartoum. At the same time, I’m going to be back working at the National Archives of South Sudan. I’m working with the RVI on a six-month emergency intervention – the umpteenth the archive has seen over the years – and will be trying to manage the final eviction of the archives from the USAID tent. I’m really hoping to finally get to go through the 1980s and 1990s documents that we were just, just piling up when I left earlier this summer.

So! I’m in Nairobi, getting things together for a move back to Juba. The blog will be a bit more active from now on.

1 Comment

Filed under Arabic, Archives, Blogging, South Sudan, Travel

Visa men in Khartoum, and the art of conference papers

The international Sudans conference in Bonn was only my second conference paper I’ve presented, and I’m definitely still learning the art of presentation (and still relying too heavily on notes to stop the shakey fear overtaking me too much).

One of the things I was particularly pleased with in my paper was that it was an example of an area of serious research – on citizenship – but using an example of how the theories of this citizenship literature and debate is actually working in practice; something that actually rarely comes up, other than in reference to the Southern Sudanese people stranded with no paperwork at all.  The people with some paperwork are often left out in a focus on the terrible, extreme cases.

This meant that I had no conclusive answers and only the evidence that I have been collecting, in between my PhD research (as this is not the focus of my PhD!) over the last couple of years.  I really enjoyed the fact that – despite being while I was still standing on a terrifyingly large, raised stage – people were giving me additional information and ideas in the questions; I also enjoyed the fact that I was confident enough in my work to say what we don’t know, what there is no information on.  This is what a “work in progress” is like, I thought.  It makes you feel both insecure  – should I have emphasised the historical and Sudan-wide nature of what I was talking about more?  But I had only suspicions about that, I haven’t been to the offices in Khartoum in the same way – and pleased – I am one of the few people who has looked into this process in practice, and it’s a good feeling.  I don’t know what I’m going to do with the information, and it needs a lot more development, but it was fun.

And with a thing in progress, as soon as you start thinking about it, stuff appears: this article, about form-fillers in Khartoum, turned up on AFP yesterday, and nicely fits in to my little developing side-project.

Leave a comment

Filed under Academia, Procrastination, South Sudan, Sudan

International Sudan and South Sudan Studies Conference 2012

The Sudan Studies associations of the US and UK – who both accept international members – held their international conference this week in Bonn, Germany, which for the first time dealt with two countries instead of one.

Many conferences and events so far have struggled with this change and the resulting re-balancing of the debate.  Douglas Johnson called in his keynote for a clear integration of wider Africanist and other literature in Sudan studies, which has a sometimes deserved reputation for separatism and isolation.  It’s possible that – despite the likelihood that South Sudan will become the field of Africanists and Sudan will be integrated more into Middle East and Northern African literature, and therefore become more intellectually separated – this wider integration will help to encourage a sense of the Sudans in a broader intellectual debate than previously.

The conference incorporated every aspect of a traditional Sudanist meeting: there were many excellent papers and a few off the wall ones; some new and exciting students; historians being asked for comments  on contemporary problems; stray politicians and diplomats making the usual statements; and comments (with personalised histories and statements) instead of questions.

The conference also reflected the stresses of the last eight months: as was noted, many panels were concerned with development, conflict, “identity”, international relations and “nationbuilding”.  History was thin on the ground in comparison to problematizing the present and debating the future.  Events are moving fast in both Sudans, and there was a sense of impatience, concern, hope and a demand for plans, even among the old guard.

Footnote: I also met a few lovely people who apparently read this blog: very exciting!  I will try to be more diligent in my posting…

Normal
0

false
false
false

EN-GB
X-NONE
X-NONE

/* Style Definitions */
table.MsoNormalTable
{mso-style-name:”Table Normal”;
mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0;
mso-tstyle-colband-size:0;
mso-style-noshow:yes;
mso-style-priority:99;
mso-style-qformat:yes;
mso-style-parent:””;
mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt;
mso-para-margin:0cm;
mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt;
line-height:115%;
mso-pagination:widow-orphan;
font-size:11.0pt;
font-family:”Calibri”,”sans-serif”;
mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri;
mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;
mso-fareast-font-family:”Times New Roman”;
mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast;
mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri;
mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;
mso-bidi-font-family:”Times New Roman”;
mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;}

The Sudan Studies associations of the US and UK – who both accept international members – held their international conference this week in Bonn, Germany, which for the first time dealt with two countries instead of one.

Many conferences and events so far have struggled with this change and the resulting re-balancing of the debate.  Douglas Johnson called in his keynote for a clear integration of wider Africanist and other literature in Sudan studies, which has a sometimes deserved reputation for separatism and isolation.  It’s possible that – despite the likelihood that South Sudan will become the field of Africanists and Sudan will be integrated more into Middle East and Northern African literature, and therefore become more intellectually separated – this wider integration will help to encourage a sense of the Sudans in a broader intellectual debate than previously.

The conference incorporated every aspect of a traditional Sudanist meeting: there were many excellent papers and a few off the wall ones; some new and exciting students; historians being asked for comments  on contemporary problems; stray politicians and diplomats making the usual statements; and comments (with personalised histories and statements) instead of questions.

The conference also reflected the stresses of the last eight months: as was noted, many panels were concerned with development, conflict, “identity”, international relations and “nationbuilding”.  History was thin on the ground in comparison to problematizing the present and debating the future.  Events are moving fast in both Sudans, and there was a sense of impatience, concern, hope and a demand for plans, even among the old guard.

Footnote: I also met a few lovely people who apparently read this blog: very exciting!  I will try to be more diligent in my posting…

2 Comments

Filed under Academia, South Sudan, Sudan

Sudan Tourist Guide

Sudan Tourist Guide 1967 - map showing tourist offices

This was my first summer of being a tourist in Sudan: my first time in Khartoum, and my second time in Juba since 2007.  Admittedly I did a bit of work in Juba and a conference in Khartoum, but I was primarily a tourist.  I visited museums, went to ‘cultural events’, took a few nervous photos; it was a great summer.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Archives, Procrastination, South Sudan, Sudan, Travel

An Independent Republic of South Sudan

Elf mabrouk to the newest country in the world!

I’ve been in Juba for the celebrations, coming up from Kampala on a bus packed to the roof with returning Southerners travelling from Nairobi. Passports of all colours – predominantly USA blue – were produced at the border, but everyone was excited about becoming, finally, South Sudanese.

The week has been relatively tense in Juba, as concrete and tarmac sets slowly in the baking heat, huge numbers of police and soldiers set up road blocks and machine-gun posts all over town in four rings of security, and public transport shut down. Several arrests of foreign journalists meant I persuaded the Ministry of Information to give me a press pass to try to avoid problems with photography.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Independence, Politics, South Sudan, Sudan, Travel