In July 2011, Sudan officially ‘became plural’, as the country split in two and the unofficial north–south divide between the Arab-dominated north and the more ethnically African south was formalised.
Following the secession of the south in 2011, north and south Sudan have been in conflict over territory, industry and geo-politics, and have been on the brink of war. There is now an urgent need for a stable political and economic leadership to take both the north and the south forward in 2013. The burning question is whether this can be achieved without damaging the integrity of the country and its culture. Can the spirit of Sudan survive and prosper in its new circumstances, in a country that has been torn apart by many years of war?
What does it mean to be Sudanese? Irish author Richard Boggs explores issues of identity, trying to reconcile his own encounters with the Sudanese people with their history of conflict and division. Richard Boggs has lived in both Juba and Khartoum, and has shared the reality of life in modern-day Sudan with the people around him. The warriors of the White Nile; the Nuban wrestlers of Kordofan; the camel suqs; the rickshaw drivers of the capital; the ferrymen taking the last ferries across the Nile just as the new bridges make them redundant – this is the world he records.
In this highly topical and relevant book, the author has created an intimate portrait of the characteristics and values of the Sudanese people, as well as conveying astutely the particular circumstances in which they live now.
Beautifully illustrated with colour photographs throughout, Becoming Plural vividly portrays life in contemporary Sudan at grass-roots level. Although it is illegal in Sudan to take photographs without written permission from the authorities, the book nevertheless contains over 100 of the author’s unique photographs, which combine to show a side to the Sudanese that is far removed from the usual media clichés, and to depict the characters, diversity, colours, lifestyle, values, hopes and fears of Sudan at this critical point in its history.