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The Summer Residency gave me the push I needed to remember who I was as an artist.

Country of origin: Sudan

In which Residency Program(s) did you participate?:
Lens and Screen Arts: The Still and Moving Image, 2011

What led you to participate in the Summer Residency Program?
After completing my MFA from the School of Visual Arts in Photography, Video and Related Media, I worked as a film editor for over 7 years. As an editor, I had become consumed by my job where I helped others reach their creative goals and I was ready to focus on my own artistic endeavors. I quit my full-time editing job and was an Artist in Residence at the Rashid Diab Art Centre in Khartoum, Sudan where I taught a digital photography workshop. Upon returning to the states after a year and a half abroad, I went to Charles Traub, chair of the MFA Department, to get an honest critique on a photography project I was working on. He recommended the residency and I immediately applied.

What was the best part of your experience at SVA?
It was amazing to be able to talk to established artists and art critics at length about work and ideas. I also loved the fact that the world was reflected through the participants of the Residency.  We were a motley crew of different ages, backgrounds and experiences.

How did the Residency Program contribute to your development as a professional artist?
The Summer Residency gave me the push I needed to remember who I was as an artist. I am in a creative industry and around ideas all the time, but it was nice to have the space to explore my own and get feedback, not only from my colleagues but from established and amazing artists who themselves have worked with and studied the greats. The residency also made me realize the importance of giving individuals access and opportunity to tell their own story. The following summer I taught Final Cut Pro as part of a non-profit organization which promoted cultural cohesion in Sudan through film.

What's going on in your studio now?
I recently shot and directed a short fantasy film, "ADAM and HOWA" in Khartoum this past summer.  To help with the film's post production and finishing, I am in the process of putting together a Kickstarter campaign, targeted to launch in the new year.

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