This essay journeys through the silent dialogues and intimacies in Ibrahim Shaddad’s vivid cinematic oeuvre that render him a genre unto himself and a distinctive presence in Sudanese and African cinema. Much of Shaddad’s experimental work deals with the death of the psychic imagination brought about by legacies of colonialism, imperialism, and bourgeois statecraft in Sudan. Shaddad seems interested in the ways the moving picture articulates itself, how it stretches and composes meaning when liberated from the burden of the sonic — a re-evaluation of the terms of language and the auditory. Despite navigating a hostile cultural terrain of state bureaucracy and censorship, his talents for deconstructing the integuments of social reality permeate his filmic work, bending and playing with the boundaries of the art form to create a unique aesthetic encounter, one which is capable of activating the political imagination. Attending to Shaddad’s visual language teaches us something about honesty, makes one more capable of declaring the real and more open to experiments of living.

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