Based in Toronto, Canada, Enas Satir is a Sudanese artist whose work is inspired by the beauty and complexity of her home country, Sudan. Enas’s art revolves around issues including race, politics, the African identity, and feminism, taboos around mental health among other cultural issues.
Enas Satir started her career as an architect, working in the field for 5 years after receiving a bachelor’s degree in Architecture (BArch) from the University of Khartoum. She then transitioned into graphic design, after obtaining a Masters’ degree in Graphic Design in Florence, Italy. After returning to Sudan in 2013, along working on her graphics Enas worked on a number of art projects, including ‘Dominance’, a joint project with fellow Sudanese artist Enas Ismaiel, where through imagery they explored the prevalence of the dominant Arabic culture over the African identity.
In 2017 Enas relocated to Toronto, Canada, and won a mentorship grant from Toronto Art Council the following year, which enabled her to be mentored under Canadian ceramic artist Erin Candela. Enas now works on ceramics as part of her art practice, producing in 2020 a ceramic collection celebrating Sudanese female singers, Aghani Banat songs and the rich Sudanese culture.
Views and Works
Before delving deep into her beautiful projects, it is essential to look at the drive behind them. Satir works to open up conversations, topics considered taboo to be discussed and dealt with to better her home country, Sudan. Satir’s art reflects experiences, challenges approached with open vulnerability.
In “Black Smog”, Enas shares stories to highlight the stigma associated with mental health in conservative societies. As a contribution to the conversation around race, Satir’s “Racism with different Seasonings” set to explore the different racial prejudices she experienced between her home country, the Middle East, Asia, Italy and now Canada, to add a different dimension to the prevalent duo-chrome view of race.
In 2019, two of Enas’s projects were nominated for the Broken Pencil Award. “Kezan & Why They Are Bad For You”, a project dedicated to the Sudanese revolution, ended up winning Best Political Zine Award 2019, while “31 Days of Narcissism” was shortlisted for best Art Zine Award 2019.
Satir’s art isn’t what you see every day; it isn’t lovely and approachable; but often carries unconventional opinions to instigate a conversation. Despite her work being more rooted in inking, ceramics and digital work, Satir doesn’t restrict her process to the medium but seeks to experiment with different mediums, evident in a series of videos she’s created during the Sudanese revolution in 2019, labeled ‘Revolution Anxieties”, where she utilizes random objects including dough, nails, hair, ropes and wires.
Satir believes in the liberation that comes with art, the power it gives to muted voices. Her art challenges controversial topics that are seldom discussed, inspiring conversation and, through such dialogue, allowing for a life of freedom to speech and to express their emotions. She hopes to encourage those around her to live a life that reflects their values and principles. Satir continues to make gorgeous ceramic pieces, illustrating in support of different causes and recently experimenting with making videos in her Youtube channel, which she launched during quarantine.