SOUTH SUDAN / PAINTING FOR EQUALITY

Preview Language:   Original
10-Dec-2021 00:04:25
Abul Oyay Deng Ajak is an artist, a painter, a curator, she gravitated to art at a young age. She is not only committed to showcase herself but other upcoming artists, especially women painters from across the region, in the world’s youngest nation. UNMISS

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STORY: SOUTH SUDAN / PAINTING FOR EQUALITY
TRT: 04:25
SOURCE: UNMISS
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGES: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 10 DECEMBER 2021, JUBA, SOUTH SUDAN

SHOTLIST:

1. Various shots, Abul drawing
2. SOUNDBITE (English) Abul Oyay Deng, Painter, Curator & Gallery Owner:
“The interesting thing about art is that it’s a process. So, it’s not like one day I just woke up and became an artist. My father encouraged me to do something more general like a business, so I ended up doing International Business but also, on the other hand, he’s the same person who is always encouraging me to paint. He’s like ‘this is a talent but also have a course,’ so I think the person that really encouraged me a lot was him. Like, every time he travelled, he came with brushes and paint and things like that and I appreciate that.”
3. Various shots, Abul drawing
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Abul Oyay Deng, Painter, Curator & Gallery Owner:
“I was raised by women, specially growing up, of course we know the story of South Sudan. All the men were in the battlefield. So, at the time my father was never with us, you know CUT TO It’s a subconscious thing. I’ve been raised by very strong women.”
5. Various shots, Abul painting
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Abul Oyay Deng, Painter, Curator & Gallery Owner:
“At that time I didn’t have many friends, I was still making friends so a lot of the time, I spent it just drawing and painting in my room and at that time I would give them out, the work I was doing, to my friends as gifts.”
7. Various shots, Abul painting
8. SOUNDBITE (English) Abul Oyay Deng, Painter, Curator & Gallery Owner:
“Human beings are creative. Women are very creative, but I think when I came here there’s very few of them. So far, I think there are five women artists that I curate here. Art in Sudan was generally looked at as a man thing. Spaces like this truly allows women to explore their talent
9. Various shots, Abul painting
10. SOUNDBITE (English) Abul Oyay Deng, Painter, Curator & Gallery Owner:
“My work in the office is practically the same thing that I’m doing here. It’s only that it’s not on canvas but culture, collecting artefacts, history, things like that. So, a lot of [the] time I’m doing the same thing that I can be doing anywhere.”

11. Various shots, Abul painting
12. SOUNDBITE (English) Abul Oyay Deng, Painter, Curator & Gallery Owner:
“We have a Vice President who is a woman and she is doing amazing stuff, super-amazing. I don’t want to say better than the other VPs but she’s doing great stuff. So, imagine if you have 10 more or 100 more women that are equally represented in these spaces. We do things from a place of good for everybody.”
13. Various shots, Abul mixing paints
14. SOUNDBITE (English) Abul Oyay Deng, Painter, Curator & Gallery Owner:
“As artists we are storytellers, we are anthropologists. 50 years from now looking at all the artworks you see here, they will be telling the story of the time we’ve lived.”
15. Various shots, Abul with SRSG


STORYLINE:

Abul Oyay Deng Ajak is an artist, a painter, a curator, she gravitated to art at a young age. She is not only committed to showcase herself but other upcoming artists, especially women painters from across the region, in the world’s youngest nation.

SOUNDBITE (English) Abul Oyay Deng, Painter, Curator & Gallery Owner:
“The interesting thing about art is that it’s a process. So, it’s not like one day I just woke up and became an artist. My father encouraged me to do something more general like a business, so I ended up doing International Business but also, on the other hand, he’s the same person who is always encouraging me to paint. He’s like ‘this is a talent but also have a course,’ so I think the person that really encouraged me a lot was him. Like, every time he travelled, he came with brushes and paint and things like that and I appreciate that.”

Abul was born in Ethiopia in 1986 but when war erupted there, she was separated from her mother and came to Malakal in South Sudan with her paternal grandmother who was a big influence on her. Women, therefore, are a constant theme in her body of work.

SOUNDBITE (English) Abul Oyay Deng, Painter, Curator & Gallery Owner:
“I was raised by women, specially growing up, of course we know the story of South Sudan. All the men were in the battlefield. So, at the time my father was never with us, you know CUT TO It’s a subconscious thing [CUT TO] I’ve been raised by very strong women.”

Abul attended university in London and the availability of art supplies fueled her passion to work harder on her artistic abilities.

SOUNDBITE (English) Abul Oyay Deng, Painter, Curator & Gallery Owner:
“At that time I didn’t have many friends, I was still making friends so a lot of the time, I spent it just drawing and painting in my room and at that time I would give them out, the work I was doing, to my friends as gifts.”

Her first exhibition took place in Juba after South Sudan declared independence in 2011. For the past seven years, Abul has transformed into a serious and commercially viable artist. Curating other female artists is an issue close to her heart, though numbers remain low.

SOUNDBITE (English) Abul Oyay Deng, Painter, Curator & Gallery Owner:
“Human beings are creative. Women are very creative, but I think when I came here there’s very few of them. So far, I think there are five women artists that I curate here. Art in Sudan was generally looked at as a man thing. Spaces like this truly allows women to explore their talent

Abul wears many hats; she also works as Director of Museums, Culture and National Heritage in the Office of the Vice President, Gender and Youth Cluster.

SOUNDBITE (English) Abul Oyay Deng, Painter, Curator & Gallery Owner:
“My work in the office is practically the same thing that I’m doing here. It’s only that it’s not on canvas but culture, collecting artefacts, history, things like that. So, a lot of [the] time I’m doing the same thing that I can be doing anywhere.”

Full and equal representation of women in politics and decision-making is an issue close to her heart.

SOUNDBITE (English) Abul Oyay Deng, Painter, Curator & Gallery Owner:
“We have a Vice President who is a woman and she is doing amazing stuff, super-amazing. I don’t want to say better than the other VPs but she’s doing great stuff. So, imagine if you have 10 more or 100 more women that are equally represented in these spaces. We do things from a place of good for everybody.”

For Abul, artists are the true reflection of the zeitgeist of our times.
SOUNDBITE (English) Abul Oyay Deng, Painter, Curator & Gallery Owner:


“As artists we are storytellers, we are anthropologists. 50 years from now looking at all the artworks you see here, they will be telling the story of the time we’ve lived.”
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UNMISS
Alternate Title
unifeed211210d
Asset ID
2696100