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An image of a painting by Ahmed Umar. It shows flowing black and white lines framed by colourful shapes on a red and black background.

Daily Helping for September 30th, 2023 – Ahmed Umar

I came across the work of Ahmed Umar while researching artists who are also activists, and I almost instantly fell in love with his work. It blends traditional Sudanese culture with western influences, and I love the resulting vibrancy of his pieces.

However, what I admire the most about Ahmed Umar is his courage. He was one of the first openly gay Sudanese artists, and he has actively campaigned for more LGBTQ representation and visibility. Even at great risk to his personal safety and familial relations. Until 2020, Sudan was one of the few countries where same-sex relations were punishable by death. It’s why Umar moved to Norway in 2008 as a political refugee and became a naturalized Norwegian citizen. But he continues to work in Sudan and one day hopes to attend a Pride event in his home country. I want this for him as well, and when it does happen, I hope it’s a joyous occasion.

Suggestions for artists I should check out? Please contact me with your ideas. I hope you enjoyed your daily helping of art!