Muhammad Salah
SUDAN
Muhammad Salah is a Sudanese visual artist who been working in the photographic field for over 5 years. He first started photography in 2013 using a point and shoot camera. In 2015, he was particularly encouraged, and reconfirmed in his work when he won the Arab Documentary Photography Program grant. In 2016 he joined the Goethe-Institut Johannesburg annual program Photographers’ Masterclass led by writer and independent curator, Simon Njami -a forum for African photographers to meet with museum directors and independent curators to critically engage with their own and others works. Photography enables him to use two languages, the first expressive and the second critical. It gave him the ability to have a contemporary look at the past, to bring the dead memories back to life. His use of photography has developed a critical focus on social, political, and cultural issues. He also uses the medium as a form of self-reflection to identify the hidden qualities of character. He uses photography also a therapy, a personal form of rehabilitation, to express feelings, thoughts, emotions, and even remember essential incidents that are otherwise difficult to explain in words. It allows him to see more deeply and pay more attention, to what he hears, feels, thinks, and sees. He learned to ask questions; these questions will often enlighten him about particular things that he used worry or confuse him.
I Want To Be Visible
If you ask me about my identity, I will say: “I am Sudanese.” But the more I think about it, there is no single Sudanese identity. We are made up of diverse genetic components. There is no pure African or Arab blood; all races and antecedents are overlapping. Walking through the streets of Khartoum, or Nayala in South Darfur, or Port Sudan in the East, I see scarves wrapped around the heads and necks of women with bleached faces. In Sudan, skin color has been always associated with social class and power. There is a common belief that the darker you are, the poorer you are. The upper class does not work under the harsh sunlight of Khartoum. Young Sudanese men learn to prefer light-skinned women fromcommercials that feature skin-whitening, weight-loss, and make-up products. Women want to be seen as beautiful, and also as though they are from the dominant tribes of Sudan that have paler complexions and roots in the Arab peninsula. Colonizers thought that Arab tribes would lead the country, and the Africans would be the workers. They created a feud where the lighter is the master and the darker is the slave. The choices we make about our skin are directed not by race, but by ideology.

The Addis Foto Fest (AFF) was established in 2010 by award-winning photographer and cultural entrepreneur, Aida Muluneh. The festival is organized by Desta for Africa Creative Consulting PLC. AFF is a biennial international photography festival held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It has previously featured exhibitions, portfolio reviews, conferences, projections and film screenings in many different renowned venues. It is also the first and only international photography festival in East Africa.