“Thousands of Sudanese artisans have welcomed a new law restricting foreign artisans who dominate the local art market, making it less profitable for the locals.
Over the years, the country’s art market has been in the hands of foreigners, because the country has not invested much in the arts. To avert this, the country has moved to support Sudanese artisans through social and health welfare provision and even training sessions to hone their skills.
Before the secession of the South Sudan, most of the country’s artisans hailed from the South. Departure of over 2.5 Million South Sudanese living in the North before their independence last July left the market to foreigners, something that led to rise in prices of handicrafts such as wooden carvings, leather bags and shoes.”
Congratulations to Sudanese artisans for this oppportunity. Better to be learning how to make beautiful things than joining the Popular Defense Force. But you must realize that this law is targeted at South Sudanese living in the North. That’s who the foreigners are here. Those who didn’t leave, perhaps because they couldn’t find a way to, or perhaps because they had a small business making handicrafts and they didn’t want to pack all that up and leave. Now that livelihood is being taken away from them since as of July 2011 they are foreigners dominating the local art market. Separation is messy.