Daloka- Girls'- songs is an ongoing ceramic project that celebrates traditional Sudanese female singers, who accompany their songs with the irresistible beat of the daloka; a drum widely used in Sudan, usually played at weddings & celebrations.
As they usually sing these songs at weddings, you find a lot of praise for the groom and the bride. You can also catch glimpses of the Sudanese culture and nature through the songs, such as Sudanese generosity, respect for the elders, supporting the poor, the unconditional support of the family...etc.
The songs often carry a mischievous attitude and playfully resist societal conservative norms, like refusing arranged marriages (often to direct cousins).
"ود اختك ما دايراه.....I don't want your nephew."
"براي بجيب الزول ... I can get the guy on my own."
Other times the songs, point at the oppression of the police and their targeting of women;
"قبضوني وجلدوني وهرشوني وأنا تبتا ....they captured me, flogged* me and I repented"
Despite the shocking words of the song, the singers always sing it in a strong, nonchalant tone. Accompanied by the beat of the daloka, the jarring words fly under the censorship radar.
Sudan Public Order Law allowed police security to prosecute people (particularly women) considered to be dressed indecently or accused of being involved in indecent acts in private and public spaces. The definition of what the law considers indecent was intentionally ambiguous and left to the judgment of the police officer. This resulted in the law being widely used to control and ridicule women. In 2019, the Sudanese revolution erupted, and in a desperate attempt to calm the protesters, ousted Sudanese president Omar Elbashir announced the law abolished. However, in March 2021, the director of Khartoum State Police called for the law to be reinstated.
According to the Strategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of Africa (SIHA), crimes of gender-based violence against women by Sudanese security and military forces continue to be the norm in the public and private spheres across the country.