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UCL Culture Blog


News and musings from the UCL Culture team


Residency for Sudanese Poet, Al-Saddiq Al-Raddi at the Petrie Museum

By Debbie J Challis, on 3 July 2012

We’re delighted to announce that Arts Council, England has agreed to fund a Grants for Arts residency for Sudanese poet, Al-Saddiq Al-Raddi at the Petrie Museum for Egyptian Archaeology at University College London in partnership with the Poetry Translation Centre. Saddiq has just finished representing Sudan at the massive poetry festival, that was part of the Cultural Olympiad, Poetry Parnassus at the Southbank Centre.

Saddiq at the Petrie Museum (c) Travis

Saddiq will be working with objects from Meroë, situated between the Fifth and Sixth Cataracts on the eastern bank of the Nile in Sudan, near modern Kabushiya and Begrawiya. It was the residence of Kushite royalty from the Sixth Century BC and was occupied for millennia. There are more standing pyramids in the area around Meroë than in Egypt. The art and architecture of the Meroitic Kingdom was innovative. As with religious practice, they combined Egyptian traditions with a distinctly Nubian culture.

We will be holding a welcome event for Saddiq on Wednesday 11 July from 18.30. Saddiq will be reading a selection of his poems in Arabic with Sarah Maguire, Director of the Poetry Translation Centre, reading her translations in English. Saddiq will be working with the museum collection, especially the material from Meroe, Sudan to produce a series of new poems over the coming months. Do join us as we welcome him to the museum: http://www.eventbrite.com/event/3061546167?ref=ebtn

Saddiq first visited the Museum when he came to the UK to particpate in the PTC’s first World Poets’ Tour in 2005. He read his poetry there in 2006 and in 2010. Saddiq’s poetry frequently reflects on ancient Sudanese cultures and he is very aware of the profound significance this unique heritage holds for his country.

During the residency he will work closely with Professor Stephen Quirke, Curator of the collection and Professor of Egyptology at University College, London. Saddiq will produce a series of poems in response to the Sudanese collections which will later be translated and published. Saddiq will also take part in readings and events at other museums across the UK.