In South Sudan, the Anataban collective continues its art


“Anataban”, “I am tired” in Arabic, is the name of a collective of South Sudanese artists founded in 2016. They are painters, musicians and even graphic artists. And use their art to promote peace, dialogue and fight social injustice in their young country, 10 years old, torn by years of conflict.

It’s with their clips are broadcast on social networks that it all started in the summer of 2016. A clip that brings together famous South Sudanese singers and rappers around a song called Anataban.

“We met at 18 in a workshop in Nairobi,” says singer Meen, also one of the founders of the collective. And we were so angry that the war resumed. We said to ourselves, now it’s time to meet and do something. At that time, the most common expression among young people in South Sudan was “I am tired” – tired of fleeing, tired of war. We used this term for our campaign. The idea was to drive southern Sudanese to condemn violence and choose peace over war. ”

Concerts, murals, plays, press videos or campaigns on social networks … Anataban intensifies its actions. Its goal is to use art to mobilize young people and eradicate the culture of violence in the country. “We try to change young people’s attitudes towards violence,” Meen explains. Because among the people who kill each other in the country, there are young people. The majority of Sudanese are young. So the decision to stop the violence is up to the young people in this country. ”

That day, a group of young people who were once active in gangs in the capital played a piece of music. A project carried out by Anataban to get them out of the bandit spiral. “This song is about the suffering that the population endures,” indicates Didi Daoudi, who coordinates this project. It is also a call for the authorities to improve access to basic services. And it talks about how young people can be useful to their communities if they receive support. ”

“The people of Anataban came to our neighborhood and made us realize that we should not waste our talents,” adds Mister Wonda, one of the singers. Now the gang life is over for me. I play music. Now I’m someone. “Mister Wonda had joined his first gang at the age of 15, left for himself on the streets of Juba and failed,” he says, “to have found someone to reach out to him.”


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