Black in the Hard Life 2004
by Stephenal Thakiy

2007 • 022

Acrylic on Canvas.
38 x 21 inches / 96 x 53.3 cm

Lent by the Sudanese Education Fund

Black in the Hard Life 2004

That is talking about the suffering of people in Southern Sudan. The cutting of the leg is showing that Arab people want to kill all the black people that live in the south. All Arab people put their hands on the black people in the country. And it shows that other people – American people, Canadian people, people from Australia – are looking. [The horn] shows that they killed all the cows. To Dinka people, cows are more valuable than anything. They only remain with the horn.

Atem Aleu

To me, refugees suffer – there is no way you can avoid that. There are hundreds of thousands of refugees around the world and even the people working for the United Nations High Commission themselves will tell you there is no way they can control – they are trying to help, to minimize the problem, but they cannot carry it out with all the things that are facing the refugees. But this – to be cut, blood, there are no clinics and no medicine for all this and I think that in the refugee camp it is a daily thing you can see.

Franco Majok


Usually back in the village, people would have guinea worm. The only way to treat them is to break the skin. There are people who know how to do it, so they usually sharpen a nail, or anything that can be sharpened, and penetrate the skin. Then they squeeze it out.

Panther Alier

This website has been developed by the Museums and Public Memory (Anth 159a) class taught by Professor Mark Auslander at Brandeis University. Images have been reproduced with the permission of the African Refugee Artists Club.