Duaa Tariq
Courtesy Duaa Tariq

In 2019, when the people of Sudan brought down the military dictatorship that had ruled the African nation for 30 years, it was by that rare thing: a peaceful, leaderless revolution. The movement was guided by both the professional class and grassroots activists like Duaa Tariq, who helped organize protests as part of a neighborhood resistance committee and, as a founder of the socially conscious art group ColorSudan, seeded a path forward. In 2021, the military returned to power in a coup, and this year turned Khartoum, Sudan’s capital, into a war zone. ColorSudan responded with antiwar graffiti in the streets and drawing sessions to help children deal with trauma, efforts originating from the emergency-response rooms where residents keep the half-emptied capital running and a movement alive. By day, locals distribute what Tariq calls “decolonized and localized aid.” Night finds her among the young activists moving through the neighborhood chanting, “You’re safe. Don’t be scared … Even when it gets dark and ugly, we are here around you.”

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