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Picnics and nilotic loves in Khartoum (Sudan)

Vincent Battesti

 Mission carried out in Khartoum (Sudan) of 13th July - 14th August, 2005.

The idea of this mission (letter of mission of the French Foreign Affairs) is to establish the possible correspondances/oppositions in the use of public spaces between Cairo and Khartoum. This comparison, which seemed to me — for all to say — a little curious while landing in Khartoum (the difference between these two urban fabrics was wider than forecasted), reveals fully now its heuristic potential.

This fieldwork has been “disturbed” by the tragic évennements (some violent riots) when was officially broken the news of the death of John Garang, Southerner vice-president of the Sudan, the 1st August, 2005.

Meanwhile, I consider the drafting of an article whose provisional title would be:
Politics, picnics and nilotic loves: Pastoral recreations in 2005’s Khartoum (Sudan).

In a country marked deeply by an islamist regime (which claimed to exert its authority on the behaviors in public spaces), how is negotiated margins of freedom in the greenery of Khartoum, at the time of family or tender outings, or meetings and rendezvous during picnics on the Nile...? How politics are involving into such a trivial subject as parks, gardens and picnics? How passersby can grant such consequences on their daily life to the “Comprehensive Peace Agreement” signed in January 2005?

The data processing of this fieldwork is in progress...

Zoo Garden Khartoum - juillet 2005
Public Garden Khartoum [Tropical Photo Stores - Khartoum (Sudan)]
Sabaloga, 6th cataract - juillet 2005
Gurashi Garden Khartoum - juillet 2005
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Vincent Battesti , "Picnics and nilotic loves in Khartoum (Sudan) " (online), Anthropoasis |, page published 5 September 2005 (consulted 25 May 2024), available on: