Ibrahim Zakaria Bahreldin


Since the Arab spring in 2011, public space and public art have been progressively central to urban planning and design literature. The recent social movements and reform discourse in the Sudanese cities exhibit that public space and public art have come to the fore in the civil uprising of December 2018 and its associated sit-in space. While many studies have examined public spaces in Khartoum, only a few have looked at them from the perspective of activism and public art. Yet, the post-2018 uprising has rendered these topics critical and compelling to researchers. This research reflects upon the transformation and events in the Khartoum sit-in space during the December uprising. Our article aims to document and analyse the public art and graffiti presented in the sit-in space in Khartoum. This research tries to answer two main questions: What role does public art and graffiti play in the revolution? Moreover, how does this role influence the quality of public space in general and the sit-in space in particular? The methodology used in this article includes direct observation, interviews, and follow-up of written and photographic material from the sit-in space and online and written resources. The results exhibited in this article show that public art and graffiti played five significant roles in the sit-in space. Public art also transformed the sit-in space aesthetics and the conception of public art and how it is produced and consumed.


How to Cite
Bahreldin, I. Z. (2022) “Public Space, Public Art, and The Revolution: Reflections on Sudan’s Nile Spring 2019 Sit-In Space”, The Journal of Public Space, 7(3), pp. 45–64. doi: 10.32891/jps.v7i3.1200.
Art and Activism
Author Biography

Ibrahim Zakaria Bahreldin, King Abdulaziz University

Dr. Ibrahim Bahreldin is an architect, urbanist, and educator with various educational backgrounds (architecture, human settlements, and urban design ). He was educated at the University of Khartoum (B.Sc. Hon. in Architecture), KU Leuven University (M. Architecture in Human Settlements, and Waseda University-Tokyo Japan. Besides his formal education, Dr. Bahreldin participated in several international and regional capacity-building and training programs in urban design, planning, and participatory design. Dr. Bahreldin has more than 15 years of teaching, research, and practical experience in urban design, planning, and human settlements. He has assumed the head of the Department of Planning and Urban Design at the University of Khartoum (2015-2018), which he joined in 2002. Dr. Bahreldin is also a member of several academic and professional organizations in Sudan and worldwide. He is a co-founder of the Sudanese Urban Planning Association (SURPA). Currently, he is teaching at the Faculty of Architecture and Planning at King Abdulaziz University. Dr. Bahreldin has extensive experience in urban design, participatory planning, and community engagement in development projects manifested in his previous involvement in several citizen-centered plans and projects in Japan and Sudan. Ibrahim focuses on placemaking, space production and activism, the perceptual dimension of urban design, public engagement in urban design, and environmental aspects of urban space. His academic writings, research, and teaching strategies highlight the necessity to produce meaningful -all-encompassing public places.


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