“A Fight Against the Language That’s Been Fucked Up”

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Before this government, usually you would find people in the buses with their books and with their newspapers, now you can’t see that. When I read in the bus now, I become like an alien. People start looking at you…‘He’s reading. What is he reading?’

For the Believer‘s blog, Nafeesa Syeed interviews Mamoun Eltlib, a young Sudanese writer struggling to uplift his country’s culture, despite various forms of government repression.

They discuss what a cadre of Sudanese artists are doing to counteract the influence of regimes that have destroyed libraries, censored free expression, and even turned Arabic into “a dead language, a bloody language.”


Lauren O'Neal is an MFA student at San Francisco State University. Her writing has appeared in publications like Slate, The New Inquiry, and The Hairpin. You can follow her on Twitter at @laureneoneal. More from this author →