ZAM Reporter

CAP 2024 | Sudan – 7 million people on the run

Ammar Abdallah and Ahmed Khirelsid, both from war-torn Sudan, are on the short list for the Contemporary African Photography Prize 2024. Their images show a poignant reality that seems to escape the world's attention. A story of immense brutality and displacement.

The 5 winners of CAP 2024, out of the 25 photographers nominated with ZAM editor Farren van Wyk amongst them, will be announced on 5 July, 2024.

Ammar Abdallah, ‘Home’, 2024

It's almost two days without food, and my body and mind feel exhausted, which is very clear in my features. I read some chapters of the Quran from the book my mother gave me, which made me feel much better. From Home, 2024. Ammar Abdallah

Born in 1996 in Wad Madani, Sudan. Lives in Cairo, Egypt.

On the fourteenth of April 2023, one of the largest displacement crises of the century began due to the ongoing war between the army and the Rapid Support Militia in Sudan. This conflict has led to widespread violence, causing more than 7 million citizens to be displaced. Many lost their homes, which were stolen and destroyed amidst the chaos. Families were torn apart, communities were shattered, and a significant number of people were forced to flee to neighbouring countries or seek refuge in overcrowded and under-resourced camps. The humanitarian crisis has been exacerbated by food shortages, clean water, and medical supplies. This project explores Ammar Abdallah's journey to find a home.

We entered the Egyptian border at 5 a.m. The bodies are very exhausted Ahmed lie on the sand everyone lay on the sand and the tension that was surrounding them decreased. From Home, 2024. Ammar Abdallah

Ahmed Khirelsid, ‘Under Control’, 2024

Untitled. From Under Control, 2024. Ahmed Khirelsid

Born in 2001 in Sudan, Sudan. Lives in Port Sudan, Sudan.

On April 15, they woke up to the noise of their family in distress and many missed calls on their phone. War had broken out in Khartoum. Within hours, they heard the sounds of artillery, realizing they were stuck in the middle of a battlefield. They had to leave. Death, violence, political and economic instability, upheaval, and doubt have become inherent to the Sudanese people in the last five years, from the revolution to the pandemic to the military coup in 2021. "Under Control" is a personal project that documents their experience of being forced to leave their family home and their attempts to adapt to this new situation.

I did not expect to feel alienated to this degree while I was inside my country and in a place considered far from home. I began to believe that a person does not need to travel thousands of kilometres from his country and his family to feel alienated For me, it is a psychological and mental state that is not strongly linked to the place, but rather to the extent of what is familiar and strange to each person. From Under Control, 2024. Ahmed Khirelsid

Through this work, they try to explore and understand the psychological and emotional trauma received as a result of this war, as well as those around them. It is both a commentary on the mental state they are going through during this challenging time and also indirectly a political commentary on the news and propaganda. They fled to a village called Al-Hasaya, where their uncle offered them an abandoned house. They don't know what the next step is. It is a time of waiting and uncertainty.

Untitled. From Under Control, 2024. Ahmed Khirelsid

Check the website of the CAP Prize for the full shortlist and more information.

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