Ahmed My Beloved (Virtual)

Artist. Elsadig Janka
Location. Online
Curator. Helga Rainer and Kara Blackmore
Date. February 12, 2024

Exhibition Overview

Through this series, I sought to amplify the profound connectedness between the spiritual, the human form, and the material artifacts of the Hadra.

Elsadig Janka

Ahmed My Beloved

This exhibition connects the Sufi tradition of the Hadra rituals. During Elsadig Janka’s spiritual journey he joined pilgrims journeying to Halagat Zikr in Omdurman, Sudan. Weekly he joined the dervishes and assembly of devotees to dance, chant and experience the power of collective spiritual practice. 

The photographs are reflective of the Sufi practices that are rooted in movement. Through Elsadig’s techniques of blur, stop motion and multiple exposure the images capture the embodied practice of spiritual gathering and trance. Elsadig also focuses on the objects of ritual that are used to adorn the pilgrims’ bodies and illuminate the ritual. The artworks often enmesh the spatial context of the place, the individual subjects and the material artefacts of the experience. His techniques thus amplify the connectedness between location, body and materiality rather than to objectify the sacred.   

In the exhibition you will experience some of the contextual aesthetics of Al Hadra. The surroundings are a resting place for ancestors, making their presence felt in the spiritual gathering. The circular display mirrors the format of gathering during the ceremonial invocations. Centred in the space is the iconic crescent moon that is significant to Islamic traditions. The moon’s historical relevance creates a viewing point to navigate between the artworks. It is also a metaphorical guide for the artist’s own form of seeking and searching as he found growth through making this series of works.   

This exhibition is dedicated to Ahmed, a dear friend that used to join Elsadig in the weekly session. May he rest in power with the ancestors and return to the Hadra.


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Selected Works

Elsadig Janka
Al Hadra 14, 2016 

Elsadig Janka
Al Hadra 1, 2016