Book launch – “Gender, Home & Identity: Nuer repatriation to Southern Sudan”, By Dr Katarzyna Grabska, on Jan. 21st, 11am – at UofK

On January 21st, at the University of Khartoum, Dr Katarzyna Grabska  presented her book “Gender, Home & Identity: Nuer repatriation to Southern Sudan” (James Currey, 2014).

This book launch was organized with the support of CEDEJ Khartoum and the University of Khartoum.


Gender, home and identityHow and where did returning Nuer refugees make their ‘homes’ in South Sudan? How were gender relations and identity redefined as a result of war, displacement and return to post-war communities? And how were those displaced able to recreate sense of home, community and nation?

During the civil wars in Southern Sudan (1983-2005) many of the displaced Sudanese, including many Nuer, were in refugee camps in Kenya and Ethiopia. In the aftermath of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, they repatriated to Southern Sudan. Faced with finding long-lost relatives and local expectations of ‘proper behaviour’, they often felt displaced again.

This book follows the lives of a group of Nuer in the Greater Upper Nile region. The narratives of those displaced and those who stayed behind reveal the complexity of social change and show how this has impacted on state formation in what is now South Sudan and, in particular, the crucial yet relatively unconsidered transformation of gender and generational relations.

Katarzyna Grabska is a research fellow with the Department of Anthropology and Sociology of Development and a project leader with the Global Migration Centre at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva. She is co-editor (with Lyla Mehta) of Forced Displacement: Why Rights Matter? (Palgrave 2008) and author of numerous articles and book chapters. She is an affiliate of French Research Centre in Khartoum (CEDEJ) and Ahfad University for Women in Omdurman.◼


ISLAM – Discussion with Dr JEAN-PIERRE FILIU in CEDEJ-Khartoum

CEDEJ Khartoum was very pleased to have Dr Jean-Pierre Filiu’s visit on December 17th for a meeting about Islam with several researchers who contributed to the CEDEJ Research programme “Islam and Society in Sudan”.

Since 2006, Dr Jean-Pierre Filiu is Professor of Contemporary History of the Middle East at Sciences Po University. There, he is also a member of the Department of History and teaches in the Paris School of International Affairs (PSIA).

He graduated from Sciences Po University in 1981 and from the National Institute of Oriental Languages ​​and Civilizations (INALCO) (diploma in Chinese in 1983 and in written Arabic in 1985).

He obtained his PhD at Sciences Po University in History (1985) as well as the authorization to supervise research (2008). He was also a visiting professor at the American universities of Columbia and Georgetown.

Dr Jean-Pierre Filiu joined the CERI, the Center of International Research in Sciences Po University in 2009.

From 1988 to 2006, Dr Jean-Pierre Filiu was Adviser for Foreign Affairs in the embassies of France in Syria, Tunisia and Jordan. He this capacity, he also worked in the offices of the Minister of the Interior (1990-1991), the Minister of Defence (1991-1993) and the Prime Minister (2000-2002).

The President François Hollande appointed Dr Jean-Pierre Filiu in 2012 as Member of the Committee for the drafting of the White Paper on Defense and National Security.

You can read two of his recent articles (in French) dealing with Sudan on his blog:


SEMINAR – “Fieldwork on Islamism: Methodological Issues”, By Dr STEPHANE LACROIX, ON JANUARY 12TH, IN CEDEJ Khartoum

CEDEJ Khartoum was pleased to receive on January 12th, 2016 Dr Stéphane Lacroix, for his seminar “Fieldwork on Islamism: Methodological Issues”.

DSC_0678DSC_0677Dr Stéphane Lacroix is an expert on the Arab World and holds a PhD in political science. He is currently a professor at Sciences Po University and is equally affiliated to CEDEJ Cairo as a senior researcher. His research primarily focuses on political authoritarianism and on the resistance it generates, on social movements and on the relationship between Islam and politics in the contemporary era. Islamist movements lie at the heart of his research, both from the sociological perspective of mobilizations and that of intellectual history. His authoritative fieldwork sites are Saudi Arabia and Egypt.  ◼

PUBLICATION – Exiled Between Two Authoritarianisms: the Sudanese Exiled in Cairo, from Hosni Mubarak to Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, By Maaï Youssef

This article has been published on Noria Research website (Network of Researchers in International Affairs)

The travesty election of the Marshal Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to the presidency of the Republic in July 2013 (Final report)1 demonstrates the permanence and the solidity of the authoritarian basis of the Egyptian State apparatus. Despite the political changes that have taken place since 2011, the prolonged presence, including during Mohamed Morsi’s presidency, of the same political actors within the security apparatus, has led, if not to an authoritarian “restoration”, at least to its re-composition within a counter-revolution movement. In order to grasp the modalities of the transformations and reproduction of authoritarian practices at the national level, studying the migratory issue, and more precisely the forced migration of Sudanese exiled in Egypt 2, provides a particularly pertinent analytical entry. Indeed, the issue of migration is administered by the State Security (amn al-dawla), and not by a ministry or any other governmental organ. It thus represents a key to understand both the regional political context and the spaces of migration, as well as the Egyptian “authoritarian syndrome”3

Continuer la lecture de PUBLICATION – Exiled Between Two Authoritarianisms: the Sudanese Exiled in Cairo, from Hosni Mubarak to Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, By Maaï Youssef

PUBLICATION – ‘The world in your hands’: smartphones and women’s connectivity in Sudan, By Griet Steel

On a tremendously hot afternoon in Khartoum, I am soaking up the freshness of one of the only air-conditioned rooms in my Sudanese family’s compound when my mother-in-law’s mobile phone suddenly jolts to life. Even before she answers the phone we instinctively start to dance and sing to the Sudanese pop song that is her ringtone. This scene resembles the way mobile phones have brought joy and happiness as well as possibilities for increased global connectivity into daily family life in Sudan.

Continuer la lecture de PUBLICATION – ‘The world in your hands’: smartphones and women’s connectivity in Sudan, By Griet Steel

PUBLICATION – Le tourisme au Soudan: une destination confidentielle?, par Franck DERRIEN

Le Soudan est actuellement à un moment clé de son histoire.
Quand ce dernier était encore le plus grand pays d’Afrique,
l’économie était essentiellement basée sur le pétrole. Suite au
référendum d’autodétermination qui s’est soldé par la déclaration
d’indépendance du Sud-Soudan le 9 juillet 2011, Khartoum a
perdu 10 millions d’habitants, un quart de sa surface et
pratiquement la totalité de ses revenus pétroliers, les gisements
étant principalement situés au sud du pays. Le pays est donc à
l’heure des choix. Le Soudan doit trouver d’autres sources de
revenus. Le tourisme peut-il contribuer de manière significative à
l’apport de devises et à la création d’emplois dans ce pays?
Afin de répondre à cette question, nous commencerons par une
présentation rapide du contexte économique actuel du Soudan.
Puis nous aborderons successivement les atouts du pays en matière de tourisme, la performance touristique de ce pays, les stratégies mises en œuvre pour optimiser le secteur du tourisme et les défis à relever pour accroître son poids économique. Cette étude s’achève par une synthèse qui récapitule les forces et les faiblesses du secteur du tourisme au Soudan en 2013, sans oublier les opportunités et les menaces.

Lire l’article de Franck DERRIEN

CALL FOR CONTRIBUTION – The Sudan, five years after the independence of South Sudan: which reconfigurations, transformations, and evolutions in the “North”?

Call for contribution


The Sudan, five years after the independence of South Sudan: which reconfigurations, transformations, and evolutions in the “North”?

South Sudan officially gained independence on the 9th July 2011. This was the outcome of the peace agreement signed in January 2005 and in accordance with the national referendum of January 2011. This historic event, which should have put an end on the historical conflict between the Northern and Southern regions and communities, constituted a real challenge in term of adaptation, resilience and innovation for the whole of the society.
In this unprecedented context of the birth of a new national territory, and the remodelling of existing spatial and political configurations, South Sudan has logically been at the centre of attention – whether this be from political actors, researchers or humanitarian donors. However, the North has been profoundly affected by this rupture as well.

Continuer la lecture de CALL FOR CONTRIBUTION – The Sudan, five years after the independence of South Sudan: which reconfigurations, transformations, and evolutions in the “North”?

CONFERENCE IN KHARTOUM – Migration and Exile in the Horn of Africa, State of knowledge and current debates

AfficheThe conference “Migration and Exile in the Horn of Africa. State of Knowledge and Current Debates” was held on November 17-18th in Khartoum.

During this two-day conference, about forty researchers have presented their empirical approaches on the issue of migration in the Horn of Africa. This event was jointly organized by CEDEJ Khartoum, CFEE Addis Ababa and the University of Khartoum.

The recent period is characterized by increasing internal migrations and by a growing number of displaced persons in the sub-region, especially in Somalia, Ethiopia and Sudan. At the same time, the number of shipwrecks in the Mediterranean Sea involving migrants coming from the Horn of Africa has tragically climbed. The issue of migration, which today largely captures the attention of media and politicians, has been widely studied by African and European researchers specialized on the Horn of Africa.

In addition to providing scientific approaches on the migratory processes, the conference “Migration and Exile in the Horn of Africa” gave us the possibility to shift and re-center the analysis on the Horn of Africa.

Programme – Migration and Exile in the Horn of Africa

IMG_9587IMG_9585David Ambrosetti, Director of CFEE in Addis AbabaIMG_9600Pr Ahmed Mohamed Suliman, Vice-Chancellor of the University of KhartoumIMG_9595 IMG_9596 IMG_9602 IMG_9604 IMG_9605Dr. Samia Abu Kashawa, Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research IMG_9610Bruno Aubert, Ambassador of France in SudanIMG_9616 IMG_9620Alice Franck, Coordinator of CEDEJ-KhartoumIMG_9647Ahmed M. Gamal Eldin, Associate Professor of Development and Migration in Ahfad UniversityIMG_9642 IMG_9664Thomas Osmond, CFEEIMG_9690Ali Khosroshahi, UNHCRIMG_9693 IMG_9706 IMG_9717Catherine Dom, WIDE EthiopiaIMG_9722Katarzyna Grabska, the Graduate Institute in GenevaIMG_9727Clara Lecadet, EHESS

IMG_9745Katherine Rehberg, UNHCRIMG_9754 IMG_9755 IMG_9765Azza Yacoub, SOAS LondonIMG_9767 IMG_9769 IMG_9774 IMG_9783Mohamed ABDEL SALAM Babiker, University of Khartoum IMG_9791Azza Yacoub and Omar Ismael Mahamoud (CERD Djibouti)IMG_9795Benoit Gaudin, University of Addis Ababa and IRDIMG_9685Maysa Ayoub, AUC
IMG_9634Netsereab ANDOM, University of KhartoumIMG_9798
IMG_9800Peter Miller (Paris 8) and Amina Said Chire (University of Djibouti)IMG_9806Marion Guillaume, Samuel HallIMG_9811Griet Steel, Utrecht University (The Netherlands) and Catholic University Leuven (Belgium)IMG_9814 IMG_9840Géraldine Pinauldt, CFEEIMG_9849 IMG_9857 IMG_9873IMG_9880

Our partners for this event:

IFMAEDIurmisPrintLogo WIDE Canwordmark_colourmekelle universityDjiboutiuni of pretoriaiomNGpGunQFZERLf-3Cqx2iIFhIhUmHTjMGQ0XPen6VkZAunhcrAUFSH Logoird

Field notebook – Fieldwork in Sudan about ritual animal death

As part of a joint research program “Ritual animal death: circulations of norms and of representations. Comparative approach between France, Bulgaria (Balkans) and Sudan”, we formed a team…
  • Alice Franck, Geographer and Coordinator of CEDEJ Khartoum
  • Jean Gardin, Geographer and Assistant professor in Paris I Pantheon-Sorbonne University, and
  • Olivier Givre, Anthropologist and Assistant professor in Lyon 2 University
…and conducted fieldwork in Khartoum, from 20th of August to the 3rd of September, related to the topic of ritual animal death.
During the course of this fieldwork, we were privileged to meet with a wide range of Sudanese actors: livestock traders, butchers, slaughterers, exporters, organizations in charge of the setting up of standards/norms (health or religious), Islamic NGOs, as well as veterinary services.
CEDEJ Khartoum supported our fieldwork in Sudan which was the third and final terrain complementing our comprehensive programme of comparative research characterized by a special focus on Aïd el Adha

Initially, we contrasted the concept “ritual death” to a hypothetical death devoid of metaphysical sense”. While binary, this dichotomy makes sense in view of the current debates on ritual animal death specifically in France. However comparative work in Bulgaria, France and Sudan demonstrates, through the diversity of practices and discourses, that the “ritual” and the “profane” exist on a continuum.
From this perspective, we consider other variations deserve to be studied in order to better analyze the circulation of norms that surround animal death such as the distinction between industrial and domestic slaughter. The fact that animal slaughter has become an increasingly technical process raises a lot of concerns for our interlocutors in France, Bulgaria and Sudan. We think that the dichotomy “industrial VS domestic slaughter” should not be too acute because the term “domestic” itself needs to be interrogate since its exact definition remains ambiguous.
Due to a focus on normative framework, we were interested in familiarizing ourselves with the role of the professional bodies that adopt, design and perpetuate norms and standards. We observed that this “space of norms and standards” is very hierarchical and well structured at the international level, (with the World Organization for Animal Health), at the national level (for example, in Sudan, with the Halal Council, the office in charge of halal norms), and at the municipal level (municipal veterinary).
We equally focus on exploring the differences in perception related to notions of “animal welfare”, which have been defined by veterinaries and various international organizations. Contrary to France – where the concern with “animal welfare” is not exclusive to pet but also pertains to livestock -, in Bulgaria it remains confined to the former. Significantly the issue in Sudan does not reach a level of public concern.
Furthermore, we found it particularly relevant to study the relationship between norms and trust. We cursorily noted that the loss of trust in industrial slaughter is strong in France, weak in Bulgaria and negligible in Sudan: respecting the hierarchy of GDP per capita, the duration of urbanization and of the level of industrialization within the meat market. However the multiplicity of contexts is highly relevant since it contributes to mitigating or even contradicting this evolutionary pattern. This makes for a more fluid reading of the heterogeneous manifestations of norms and standards.
Inter-subjective trust stands in opposition to impersonal norms, however multiple interviews expose a variant of trust in relation to the norms (eating organic or eating halal); which may in turn be subverted by the further interrogation of what constitutes “organic” or “halal”? The latter trust is inscribed in a specific label.
The question of trust equally posits itself in our findings related to Eid sacrifices which take place in the country of the South through the interventions of Islamic NGOs. The issue of delegation is highly charged since it bears the onus of sacrificing on behalf of another on a sacred plane. In the western context where the majority of donors is to be found, the issue of how industrial slaughter houses operate, directs the choices of a Muslim clientele in opting for a distant slaughter.
Departing from a study which was essentially dealing with the sacred and non sacred aspects of animal death, we were quikly confronted with the salience of the norms. We do not profess to be offering a novel contribution, however our contribution offers a clearing for further interrogations surrounding the status of the standardization of animal death.

Our next step: A workshop on the topic of animal death – open to the public – will be held on Friday 27th, November 2015 (9 am – 1 pm), at the Institute of Geography, in Paris 1 University.

Programme Mort Animale 27 novembre 2015


The following picture was taken during a night slaughter in the mastaba (about 200 bulls and camels and 600 goats and sheeps slaughtered between 11 pm and 7 am on a slab by a hundred butcher boys), in Khartoum. If taken (generally undercover) in a northern-american or european industrial slaughterhouse, this kind of pictures is often used to accuse meat-eaters and meat-producers of cruelty toward animals. But at the same time, we’d like to point that another-wiser-interpretation is possible : even in rude conditions (blood, direct vision…) the animals are partly cooperative in the process. Even if they are afraid and must be dragged by force, they show a confidence in the men’s activity. We’d like to impute that to the intensity of physical and emotional exchanges during the whole life of the animal, with humans, in a semi-industrial and semi-traditionnal process.

Thesis – “Ethnographies of water management in Tuti (Khartoum, Sudan) and Caño de Loro (Cartagena, Colombia). Comparing history, locality and politics in urban anthropology”, By Luisa ARANGO

Ethnographies of water management in Tuti (Khartoum, Sudan) and Caño de Loro (Cartagena, Colombia). Comparing history, locality and politics in urban anthropology

Tuti L. Arango (2)
Tuti – L. Arango

“Ethnographies de la gestion de l’eau à Tuti (Khartoum, Soudan) et Caño de Loro (Carthagène, Colombie). Histoire, localité et politique dans une perspective d’anthropologie urbaine comparée”

Under the supervision of Dr Barbara Casciarri

The thesis defense took place on Friday, November 27th, 2015 at 9 am at the University Paris 8, 2 rue de la Liberté, 93200, Saint Denis in the Hall of theses, Deleuze area (Building A, 1st floor).

The jury was composed of:
AYEB Habib, Senior Lecturer in Geography at the University Paris 8

Alain BERTHO, Professor of Anthropology at the University of Paris 8

David BLANCHON, Professor of Geography at the University Paris Ouest-Nanterre.

Barbara CASCIARRI, Lecturer in Anthropology at the University Paris 8 (supervisor)

Eric DENIS, Geographer, Director of research at CNRS (rapporteur)

Aline HEMOND, Professor of Anthropology at the University of Picardie Jules Verne (rapporteur)

Mauro VAN AKEN, Professor of Anthropology at the University of Milano Bicocca


Tuti L. Arango
Tuti – L. Arango

At the turn of the twentieth century, numerous cities such as Cartagena (Colombia) and Khartoum (Sudan), adopted a centralized technical and administrative model for the management of drinking water. Associated since its construction to planned urban development projects, the water network constitutes a political technology and becomes a landmark of urban spatiality, for politicians as well as for technicians and urban dwellers. The compared analysis of access strategies, daily usage, and the role of water in the imagination of two populations with an ambiguous urban status – Caño de Loro (Cartagena) and Tuti (Khartoum) – allows us to approach the social complexity of contemporary cities in the South. The comparison supposes a reflexive orientation that leads us, over and beyond the socio-political dynamics of each context, to critically consider our categories of analysis. In the first part the water network is contextualized in the history of each city, where its recent apparition and setting up rests upon the reinforcement or creation of dense power relations, as well as a new conception of nature, particularly of water. Such relational and political features lead to, in the second part, an understanding of how the materiality of water and its sharing produces particular localities within the urban space. Therefore, the analysis of relations between public and private spheres through everyday water exchanges lets us discuss the relevance of the notion of “collective management” of resources in Cartagena and Khartoum. The third part considers the mechanisms draw on by different actors within the particular context of urban planning to negotiate their margin of action on land and water. It highlights the political dimension of identity categories as well as the transformative power of individual and collective actions in situations where resource management is crossed with individual, local, national, and global logics at the same time.


Au tournant du XXe siècle, un modèle technique et administratif centralisé est adopté pour l’approvisionnement en eau de consommation dans de nombreuses villes de la planète, dont Carthagène (Colombie) et Khartoum (Soudan). Dès lors, associé aux projets de développement urbain planifié, le réseau hydrique se constitue comme une technologie politique et devient un marqueur de la spatialité et des modes de vie urbains, autant pour les administrateurs que pour les techniciens et les populations citadines. L’analyse comparée des stratégies d’accès, des usages quotidiens et de l’imaginaire lié à l’eau de deux populations insulaires dont le caractère urbain s’avère problématique – Caño de Loro (Carthagène) et Tuti (Khartoum) – permet d’aborder la complexité sociale des villes du Sud contemporaines. La comparaison comporte dans ce sens une orientation critique et conduit, au-delà de l’étude des dynamiques sociopolitiques propres à chaque contexte, à interroger les diverses catégories d’analyse utilisées au cours de ce travail. Dans la première partie de la thèse, le réseau hydrique est restitué dans l’histoire de chaque agglomération où sa mise en place, relativement récente, repose à la fois sur le renforcement, voire sur l’émergence, d’importants rapports de pouvoir et sur une transformation dans la conception de la nature, et plus particulièrement de l’eau. Ce caractère relationnel et politique du réseau ouvre la voie, dans une deuxième partie, à la compréhension de la façon dont la matérialité de l’eau et ses échanges contribuent à la production de « localités » particulières au sein de l’espace urbain. Ainsi, l’analyse des relations entre espaces publics et privés par le biais du partage quotidien de l’eau amène à discuter la pertinence de la notion de « gestion collective » des ressources à Carthagène et à Khartoum. La troisième partie aborde les mécanismes mobilisés par différents acteurs, dans le contexte particulier de la planification urbaine, pour négocier leur marge d’action sur l’eau et la terre. Elle met en lumière la dimension politique des catégories d’appartenance ainsi que le pouvoir transformateur des actions collectives et individuelles dans des situations où la gestion des ressources est traversée par de logiques, à la fois individuelles, locales, nationales et globales.

MIGRATIONS – Dr Catherine WIHTOL DE WENDEN in Khartoum

On November 14th, CEDEJ Khartoum has organized a documentary screening, followed by a discussion with the renowned Researcher specialized on migrations issues, Dr Catherine WIHTOL DE WENDEN.

picture-115 Dr Catherine WIHTOL DE WENDEN holds a Ph.D. in political science from Sciences Po. She is a regular consultant for the OECD, the European Commission, UNHCR, and the Council of Europe. She is the Chair of the Research Committee on Migrations of the International Society of Sociology since 2002; she is a member of the Commission nationale de déontologie de la sécurité from 2003 to 2011; she is a member of the editorial boards of Hommes et migrations, Migrations  société, and Esprit. She is a lawyer and a political scientist. Her research focuses on the relationship between migrations and politics in France, migration flows, migration policies and citizenship in Europe and in the rest of the world.

For her visit in CEDEJ-K, we screened the documentary “Time to look at girls: migrants in Bangladesh and Ethiopia”(directed by Marco SPERONI, 31 minutes – 2015), produced and researched by Katarzyna GRABSKA, Nicoletta DEL FRANCO and Marina DE REGT.

“Time to look at girls: migrants in Bangladesh and Ethiopia”

Based on research funded by the Swiss Network of International Studies, Girl Effect Ethiopia, Terre des Hommes, University of Sussex, UK and the Feminist Review Trust

The increasing number of girls who move to cities is a momentous global change
Why are adolescent girls migrating and what happens to them?
How are their families and close ones affected?
What are the constraints and opportunities linked to migration for adolescent girls?
Bangladesh and Ethiopia are two examples of countries where girls’ independent migration is on the rise. This film explores the circumstances, decision-making, experiences and consequences of migration for adolescent girls in Bangladesh and Ethiopia. It is based on a research project “Time to look at girls: adolescent girls’ migration and development” (January 2014-December 2015), that explores the links between migration of adolescent girls and economic, social and political factors that trigger their movements. It shows the agency and choices being made by adolescent girls in their diverse migration experiences.

More migrants move within their own country or region than migrate to Northern countries. Bangladesh and Ethiopia have been experiencing increasing high rates of the migration of adolescent girls to work. In Bangladesh they are found for example in garment and other manufacturing industries; working as maids; or in beauty parlours. In Ethiopia, migrant girls are mainly escaping early marriages, seeking better living conditions, or aspiring to continue their education. Most of them take up paid work as maids or sex workers.

The film is based on four parallel stories about the trajectories of migration of adolescent girls in Bangladesh and in Ethiopia. In Bangladesh, the film portrays Lota and Sharmeen who are employed in garment factories. In Ethiopia, the documentary follows the lives of Tigist and Helen, two internal migrant girls, who end up in sex work. This beautifully shot film provides space for the powerful voices of the migrant girls who speak about their own circumstances, experiences, dreams for the future.

Breaking away from the dominant focus on girls as victims of trafficking, this film gives evidence of the resilience, creativity and agency of young migrants girls who faced with difficult choices.

The documentary screening was followed by a discussion, in the presence of Katarzyna GRABSKA*, with  Dr Catherine WIHTOL DE WENDEN.

We also had the great pleasure to have with us Dr. Hassan EL HAJ ALI, Dean of the Faculty of Economic and Social Sciences in the University of Khartoum.


*Dr Katarzyna GRABSKA is a Project Coordinator at the Global Migration Centre. She holds a BSc in International Relations from the London School of Economics and an MA in International Affairs and Conflict management from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. Her research interests focus on inter-linkages between conflict, forced displacement, gender, generations and rights. She has received her PhD in Development Studies/Anthropology from the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) at the University of Sussex, UK. Her research focuses on social transformations in the context of forced displacement and return among southern Sudanese refugees. She is particularly interested in intersections of power, gender identities and gender and generational relations in forced displacement situations and the impact of (forced) migration on youth.

Publication – Lost Nationalism. Revolution, Memory and Anti-colonial Resistance in Sudan, By Elena Vezzadini

CEDEJ Khartoum is pleased to announce the recent publication of “Lost Nationalism. Revolution, Memory and Anti-colonial Resistance in Sudan”, by Elena Vezzadini.

9781847011152The 1924 Revolution was a watershed in Sudanese history, the first episode of anti-colonial resistance in which a nationalist ideology was explicitly used, and part of a global wave of anti-colonial movements after the First World War that can be seen as the “spring of the colonial nations”.

This detailed account of the uprising, and its eventual failure, explores the cosmopolitan nationalism embraced by the White Flag League, the movement that sparked the revolution, and its ability to attract people from diverse origins, classes and professions. It examines the international genesis of the movement; the strategies put in place to spread it in different areas of Sudan and among different groups; the movement’s inclusive ideology and its definition of the Sudanese nation, as well as the limitations to its inclusiveness; and the way in which this episode reveals deeper questions relating to origins, social hierarchies and power. The book also unravels the complex history of the memory of 1924, the politics of its representation and the underlying power struggles that saw 1924 largely lost from the historical record.

Elena Vezzadini is a historian of modern Sudan affiliated to the Centre for Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, University of Bergen, and Institut des Mondes Africains, Paris. She is also associated with CEDEJ Khartoum.

The French-Sudanese Autumn School (Master/Phd) – From October 24th to 31st 2015, in Khartoum

The CEDEJ Khartoum, together with the University of Khartoum, has organized from October 24th to 31st 2015 a French-Sudanese Doctoral School in Khartoum.

The main aim of this School was to train Master/Doctoral students coming from Sudanese/French universities to all the different aspects of the fieldwork in social sciences: interviews, questionnaires, selection and delimitation of a field work, as well as data processing and analysis. DSC_0317 DSC_0319 DSC_0338 DSC_0349TEACHING TEAM: The team was composed by French and Sudanese advanced researchers and teachers from various social sciences backgrounds (Anthropology, Geography, History, Socio-Linguistics, Political Sciences, Urban Studies) with longstanding experience of fieldwork and scientific research in Sudan. The team coordinated the school both by the implementation of workshops (methodology, research questions, data processing) and the training and coordination of fieldwork surveys, aiming at matching the various competences for stressing the interdisciplinary approach both at methodological and theoretical level.

  • French partners :
    Alice FRANCK, CEDEJ coordinator CEDEJ-PRODIG (Geography)
    Barbara CASCIARRI, University Paris 8-LAVUE (Anthropology)
    Catherine MILLER, CNRS-IREMAM Aix-Marseille University (Socio-Linguistics)
    Elena VEZZADINI, CNRS-IMAF (History)
  • Sudanese partners :
    Munzoul ASSAL, University of Khartoum (Anthropology)
    Ibrahim BAHAR AD-DIN, University of Khartoum (Urban Studies)
    Al-Amin ABU MANGA, Institute of Afro-Asian Studies (Linguistics)
    Noha TAYB HAMZA, University of Khartoum (Anthropology)
    Zahir M. ABDEL-KARIM, University of Khartoum-Max Planck Institute (Anthropology)
    Salma M. ABDALLA, University of Khartoum-Bayreuth University (Political Sciences/Geography)

DSC_0331DSC_0335STUDENTS TEAM: The team was composed by French, European and Sudanese Master and PhD students with analogous social sciences backgrounds, whose research projects are based on qualitative approaches and focus on different topics and African countries (not only Sudan). They were asked to follow the training both by implementing their capacities in different steps of field survey, fieldwork/theory connection, interdisciplinary and comparative approach, and by making the group benefit from their former experience on different fieldwork contexts. Besides the work they carried out under the coordination of the teaching staff in workshops and surveys, they shared moments of autonomous collective work for data processing and reflection.

  • French students :
    Jeanne BOSSY, Master, Lyon University (Geography):
    Clément DESHAYES, PhD, University Paris 8-LAVUE (Sociology/Anthropology)
    Peter MILLER, Master, University Paris 8 (Anthropology)
    Francesco STARO, PhD, University Paris 8-LAVUE (Anthropology)
    Paolo SANTAGOSTINI, PhD, University Paris 8-LADYSS (Geography)
    Anne-Laure MAHÉ, PhD, University of Montréal (Political Sciences)
  • Sudanese students :
    Aroub AL FAKI TAHA , Master, UoK (Anthropology)
    Doria AL-HADY, PhD – Lecturer, UoK (Economy)
    Hind MAHMOUD HUSSEIN, PhD, Ahfad University (Gender studies)
    Khadega MOHAMMED SALIH, Master, University of Khartoum (Anthropology/Gender Studies)
    Mariam SHARIF, Master, UoK (Anthropology)
    Mohasim YOUSSIF, PhD, University of Khartoum (History)


The programme of the School

DAY 1. Saturday, October 24th – in CEDEJ

9:30 – 11:00 am

  • Welcoming of the students by the supervising team
  • Presentation of the main goals of the School and of the working agenda
  • Presentation of the supervising team and their respective research in Sudan
  • Presentation of the students and their respective ongoing research

11:00 am – 1:00 pm

  • Introduction: approaches, methods, research questions. Each supervisor is invited to synthetically introduce an overview of its academic discipline following these 4 common lines of thought:
    – The history and bases of the discipline
    – The connection between theories, categories and survey methods
    – Inequalities as a research question
    – Academic production on Sudan

2:00 – 6:00 pm

  • Preparation for the field trips
  • Tools for the collection of data: observation, directive and semi-directive interviews, life stories, genealogical charts, maps, sketches
  • Identification of common research questions around the theme of inequalities
  • Illustration of the main operational concepts and categories to be used for the surveys
  • Reflexivity and issues about ethnographic dialogue : common protocol of the survey
  • General background about the selected places for the field trips

DAY 2. Sunday, October 25th – Tuti Island / CEDEJ

9:00 am – 2:00 pm. First survey

“Urban agricultural practices and land conflicts in Khartoum: the case of the island of Tuti amid the Three Towns” – coordinators: A. Franck and I. Bahr El-Din

3:00 – 5:30 pm. Group work, in CEDEJ

Debriefing, classification of data, writing of the field notebook

DAY 3. Monday, October 26th – Deim / CEDEJ

9:00 am – 2:00 pm. Second survey

“The market as ethnographic site in a transforming popular area in the center of Khartoum: the Suk of Deim” – coordinator: B. Casciarri, accompained by Noha Hamza

3:00 – 5:30 pm. Group work, in CEDEJ

Debriefing, classification of data, writing of the field notebook

DAY 4. Tuesday, October 27th – CEDEJ / UoK

9:00 am – 2:00 pm. Follow up and synthesis workshop 1

  • Monitoring with the supervisors:
  • Analysis of the data collection carried out by the students on survey 1 and 2
  • Questions of methodology for field data collection (stemming from the surveys)
  • Synthesis discussion about the two first surveys:
    – Singular perspective on each field (Tuti and Deim)
    – Comparative perspective
    – Analytical perspective with focus on “inequalities”
    – Disciplinary perspective: crossing approaches of Social Sciences

3:00 – 5:30 pm. Autonomous group work by the students, in CEDEJ

  • Briefing on the issues discussed with the supervisors in the workshop 1
  • Back to data: reformulation of the research questions
  • Documentation work and reading focusing on the surveys

DAY 5. Wednesday, October 28th – Institute of Afro-Asian Studies/ Hajj Yusif

9:00 – 12:00 am. Documentary sources

Visit and work on the documentary sources (written and audiovisual) of the IASS – coordinators: C. Miller and A. H. Mugaddem.

1:00 – 6:00 pm. Third survey

“Spatial, social and linguistic reconfigurations in former marginal neighborhoods recently integrated in Greater Khartoum: the case of Hajj Yusif “, coordinators: C. Miller and Al-Amin Abu Manga

DAY 6. Thursday, October 29th – Omdurman / CEDEJ

9:00am – 2:30 pm. Fourth survey

“Oral history workshop: historical dynamics and inequalities in the integration of former rural villages in Greater Khartoum: cases of Al-Salha and Serau” – coordinators E. Vezzadini and M. Assal, accompanied by Salma Abdalla and Zahir Abdel-Karim.

3:00 – 6:00 pm. Group work, in CEDEJ

Debriefing, classification of data, writing of the field notebook

DAY 7. Friday, October 30th – CEDEJ / outside

9:00 – 11:30 am. Follow up and synthesis workshop 2

  • Monitoring with the supervisors:
    – Analysis of the data collection carried out by the students on survey 3 and 4
    – Questions of methodologies regarding the combination of sources
    – General comments on the salient characteristics identified during the data collection, and methodological reflection on “survey practices”
    – Instructions for the preparation of synthesis papers/presentations for the conclusion

12:00 am – 4:00 pm. Autonomous group work by the students, in CEDEJ

  • Briefing on the issues discussed with the supervisors in the workshop 2 and on data development
  • Preparation for the presentations for the conclusion by French-Sudanese student “pairs”

4:30 – 8:00 pm. Final field trip and “participant observation”

  • During this final field trip, supervisors and students meet at the end of the day to attend one of these weekly events: either the Nuba wrestling in Hajj Yusif or the Sufi halaga in Sheikh Hammed An-Nil in Omdurman.

DAY 8. Saturday, October 31st – University of Khartoum


9:00 am – 1:00 pm. Presentations by the students of their final work

2:00 –4:30 pm. “Out from fieldwork”: comparative reflection, interdisciplinary perspectives, grounding theoretical debate on inequalities in fieldwork contexts

4:30 – 5:30 pm. General conclusion of the Doctoral School and future developments

The partners of the French – Sudanese Doctoral School: 

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Publication – The 2015 Sudanese General Elections: Political readjustment and authoritarian reinforcement, By Soliman Chaouche (Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne University)

Last April, Sudanese people have been called to the polls for the 2015 general elections. It represented a significant challenge, given the fact that this ballot was the first in Sudan since the secession of South Sudan in 2011.

Despite a call for boycott by the main opposition parties, Omar El Bechir, in power since 1989, has decided to maintain the vote. This choice was all the more surprising at a moment where the government was facing many issues: a major economic crisis, more violent opposition movements in peripheral regions, infightings within the ruling party…

Soliman Chaouche’s fieldwork was carried out during the two-month campaign before the elections. His paper is based on the final electoral results and on the analysis of the Sudanese political system. It argues that these elections have led to the weakening of the main opposition parties and to the consolidation of the current regime. Indeed, far from the path to democracy, this ballot has been, paradoxically a strengthening tool for El Bechir.

Soliman Chaouche’s paper in French:

This paper is the result of a collaboration between the CEDEJ Khartoum, the CFEE, the Multiannual Observatory of Political and Security issues and the Regional Council of Aquitaine.

The Multiannual Observatory of Political and Security Issues is a research program dedicated to the historical perspective of political developments. It is co-financed by the Directorate General for International Relations and Strategy (DGRIS, http : // ) and by Africas in the World (LAM, UMR-CNRS 5115) at Sciences Po Bordeaux ( .html).

Les soudanais se sont récemment rendus aux urnes à l’occasion des élections générales de 2015, conformément au calendrier électoral mais dans un contexte inédit puisqu’il s’agissait des premières élections depuis l’indépendance du Soudan du Sud en 2011. Malgré l’appel de la grande majorité des parts d’opposition à repousser le scrutin, le régime d’Omar El Béchir au pouvoir depuis 1989 a décidé de maintenir le vote. Une décision d’autant plus surprenante qu’elle s’inscrit dans un contexte particulièrement difficile pour le régime en place (crise économique majeure, opposition armée dans les régions périphériques et luttes internes au sein du parti au pouvoir).

Revenant sur les deux mois de campagne ayant précédé le scrutin, les résultats électoraux, mais aussi le fonctionnement du régime politique soudanais, cette Note revient sur les mécanismes par lesquels ces élections ont conduit à l’affaiblissement des principaux partis d’opposition et au renforcement du pouvoir en place. En effet, bien loin d’avoir mis le Soudan sur la voie de la « démocratisation », ce scrutin s’est davantage révélé un formidable outil de renforcement du régime autoritaire en place.

La note de Soliman Chaouche :

Cette note est le fruit d’une collaboration entre le CEDEJ Khartoum, le CFEE, l’Observatoire pluriannuel des enjeux politiques et sécuritaires dans la Corne de l’Afrique et le Conseil régional de l’Aquitaine.

L’Observatoire pluriannuel des enjeux politiques et sécuritaires dans la Corne de l’Afrique est financé par la Direction Générale des Relations Internationales et de la Stratégie (DGRIS) et par le Laboratoire Les Afriques dans le Monde (LAM, UMR CNRS 5115) de Sciences Po Bordeaux (



CEDEJ Khartoum