Khartoum at Night

Khartoum at Night: Fashion and Body Politics in Imperial Sudan 1st Edition

Photograph SAD 540 /1 /80 (Fig. 1) is one of over four hundred pictures of early twentieth-century Sudan captured by a man named D. Clifton. It is labeled, in Clifton’s hand, “One of my neighbors, Khartoum.” Little is known about D. Clifton. He has no records of his own in the Sudan Archive
at Durham University that now houses his photographs. In fact, SAD 540/1/80 came to the archive by accident as part of the papers of Kenneth Henderson, a prominent government official, who purchased Clifton’s pictures at a saleroom. Even less is known of the stately woman in the photograph. Her face is weathered, with a hint of a smile. She stands composed, her hands loosely cradling an unidentified bundle. And though she looks to be on her way somewhere, she pauses for Clifton to take her picture. She is wary of neither the camera nor the man behind it.

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