ART & CULTURE

Alaa Satir – The Woman Who Uses Art Towards Empowerment

Alaa Satir is a Sudanese graphic designer, cartoonist, and illustrator; an alumnus of the University of Khartoum studied Architecture.

Recently, Alaa Satir has also attained her Master’s Degree from the University of the Arts, London. Her work is used by NGOs and in publications for shedding light on social issues and current affairs.

She uses her drawings as a tool to celebrate womanhood – she takes great pride in being a woman. Her drawings are also centered on how women should “unapologetically” be themselves. She believes in diversity and is a fervent supporter of social justice.

Alaa Satir doha style
Alaa Satir doha style
Ahmed Mahmoud
Alaa Satir doha style

Once Alaa Satir completed her degree in Architecture, she resorted to the field of “digital illustration,” “graphic designing,” and “visual arts” to unleash her creativity. She deems this as a way to celebrate her life and her culture while also being at liberty to use her field as a venting mechanism to express what she doesn’t like about her society.
Alaa aspires to be an artist that is a jack of all trades. She is always looking forward to exploring new mediums and new ways to get her message across. For her, engagement with different mediums is a way of connecting with her country Sudan. She was among many women who played a crucial role during the Sudanese Revolution that concluded on the 17th of August, 2019.

A Pleasant Sight To See During The Sudanese Revolution:

During the Sudanese Revolution, it was well understood that many things had to change. Sudan was already a misogynistic country, as Alaa has been seen to comment. Additionally, gender intolerance was also at its peak. Women weren’t given equal standing in the community, and overall the situation was decrepit. Due to these situations, Alaa used her medium to bring awareness to Women’s Rights.

A few particularly noteworthy things Alaa Satir did was painting a mural of a “crowned woman”; her arms were stretched defiantly, and there was a chant with it that said that, “Hey Ladies stand your ground, this revolution is a Woman’s Revolution.”

Moreover, even before the Revolution occurred, she was seen to be drawing illustrations, terming them as, “We are the Revolution.” Alaa Satir has used her voice to bring awareness to the significance that women have in society. She has used art to spread her message, therefore ensuring that her message is heard loud and clear that both men and women are equal, and there is no room for inequality at any cost.

Alaa wanted to be a cartoonist since the age of seven or nine. It is now that perhaps she is proud of the decision she took. She continues to explore various mediums of art and has developed a great interest in converting her designs into objects such as chairs and silk scarves.

Alaa Satir doha style
Alaa Satir doha style
Alaa Satir doha style

Publicizing her Work

Alaa Satir has always been ready to put her work forward, hoping for change. Her first personal exhibition was designed in 2017. It addressed essential subjects such as politics, social media, and feminism. She called it “Morning Doodles.” Although this was her first exhibition, Morning Doodles proved to be highly successful, and she set her mark in the world of artists who create masterpieces for change.

That wasn’t the end for her exhibitions. After her first, there were numerous to come. One of the most noteworthy was an exhibition in 2018. This exhibition aimed to display art for women’s rights and revealed the actual atrocities that gender-based violence brings. Like the previous exhibition, Alaa was also highly appreciated for her work here.

While working as an illustrator, cartoonist, and graphic designer simultaneously, Alaa discovered a better approach to getting across the messages she desired much more quickly in June 2018. Her art is a constant outlet for her to draw and display everything with ease. It helped her create stories about social awareness and empowerment with a few magnificent sketches. The studio soon became a place where she pushed her beautiful illustrations to become a part of other art forms. She aims to target every avenue so she can do her part for the betterment of humanity.

A Positive Change

In Sudan, Freedom of Speech was unheard of; however, the revolutionary movements to demand Women’s Rights changed the status quo to a great extent. Alaa realized that it takes time for unconventional things to occur, especially in a place where female suppression was at its peak.

However, in the end, it was with the help of her steadfastness, determination, and perseverance that she was able to get through and bring about a positive, uplifting change for women in Sudan.

Alaa likes challenging herself time and time again. If she gets a client, she is happily willing to work with him/her, as long as she can demonstrate her frame of thought to a certain extent. She believes in freedom of expression. Everyone is entitled to state their mind freely, and this is precisely the message Alaa continues to spread.

Often, the news on T.V. is censored, or even if it is shown, it doesn’t have an impact as it rightfully should. Therefore, Alaa’s art is a medium of capturing attention, making a statement, and highlighting social injustices and issues. Alaa wishes to overthrow the stigma attached to women – that marriage is their ultimate destiny, they have no social standing, and are inferior compared to the male gender.

Alaa wants to propagate the message that women in Sudan have been oppressed in the past and continue to be oppressed, but things are changing now. When it comes to Modern Sudanese history, Sudanese women have been at the forefront of revolutions and protests. They have made and continue to make history.

In the fight for freedom, Alaa has played a pivotal role in safeguarding women’s rights. She is the epitome of patience, virtue, and perseverance. She has paved the pathway for success for future women in Sudan with the help of her art.

Alaa Satir’s Instagram: @alaasatir

Alaa Satir’s Shop: HERE

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