Mohamed Abdelrahman’s presentation will focus on the hitherto neglected artistic and cultural practices of cities on the periphery of the Islamic world. In order to highlight the international aspect of Islamic art and culture, he will argue, it is important to examine the relationship between Islamic art and the artistic practices found in these abandoned cities. Cities along the coast of the Red Sea are of particular importance given their geographical position between the East Asian and West African portions of the Islamic world. Abdelrahman will discuss the works of Sudanese painters and filmmakers who focus on the city of Sawakin within the framework of semiological and postcolonial theory.

Mohamed Abdelrahman carried out his undergraduate studies in graphics at the College of Fine and Applied Arts, Sudan University of Science and Technology, Khartoum (1985), and in linguistics and psychology at the Faculty of Arts, University of Khartoum (1997). He has a doctorate in African Studies from the International University of Africa, Khartoum. He has taught art and design at Ahfad University, Omdurman, Sudan, and linguistics at the International University of Africa. He has published several books on art criticism including, The Spaces of Multiplicity and Difference in Modern Arabic Plastic Art (Department of Culture and Information, Sharjah, UAE, 2011); The Artist Omer Khairy: His Life and Art (Sudanese Plastic Arts Association, Khartoum, 2009); The Effects of Linguistics on Art Criticism, co-edited with Salah Hassan Abdullah (Sudanese Writers Union and Sudanese Plastic Arts Association, 2009); and The Paintings of Salah Elmur (Sudanese Plastic Arts Association, 2007). In 2011, Abdelrahman was awarded the Sharjah Award for Art Criticism (Department of Culture and Information).