International Culture Festival, Karmakol
1 – 21 December 2017
The ‘Karmakol Festival: Open Sudan’ is a platform for Sudanese and international cultural exchange. The first of it’s kind Open Sudan will bring highlights from the Sudanese cultural scene together with international artists to perform, workshop and exchange with the aim of showcasing Sudan’s rich culture and connect Sudan to the international community.
Sudanese and international music, theatre, film, arts and literature will be presented under the open sky of Karmakol!
Over the course of 3 weeks the Northern village of Karmakol will transform into a festival site and cultural hub, inviting participants, artists and guests from Sudan and beyond to share and celebrate their diverse arts, cultures and heritage.
Open Sudan seeks to promote all forms of expression, protect cultural diversity and enable intercultural cooperation. In doing so this project endeavours to promote peace, support democracy building and prevent violence extremism.
The festival caters to the youth of Sudan, which represent 60% of the population. Young people who have suffered years of cultural isolation and economic embargo will be energised to showcase their work to each other and international guests. In return they will be exposed to various forms of artists and performers from around the world. Together they will connect and create.
For a country like Sudan who’s identity has been impacted by a heavily one-sided negative international headlines, this festival offers an opportunity to uncover a rarely seen perspective- one of hope, diversity, talent and peaceful co-existence.
All the activities will be held in Karmakol, a village 4 hours drive north of Khartoum. Decades ago the site was abandoned due to regular flooding by the Nile River, pushing villagers further into the desert. Since then the floods have been engineered out of existence – leaving behind a perfect location for a cultural festival!
The festival will host 15 concerts from around Sudan, 15 international guest performers, 5 art exhibitions, 40 local and international films, 10 theatre plays, 20 performances by poets, 10 book readings as well as a wide selection of side events including workshops a food court and market place with booths and informative exchange for interested participants.
The host community of Karmakol will generously open their homes for accommodation rentals and provide support in all aspects of logistics and security.
500 festival participants including the artists and volunteers will form the core of the Open Sudan project, enabling a deeper cultural exchange to develop over the 3-weeks. Visitors with a free festival pass travelling from all around Sudan will be able to attend all of the main acts as well as participate in the side events and workshops. We expect 15,000 visitors during the festival.
Open Sudan not only hopes to bridge cultural divides but ensure a longer and more sustainable future for cultural exchange.