By Deb A.
Filmmaker, photographer, artist, and new contributing editor: art of Agave Magazine, Issraa El-Kogali finds inspiration at home and abroad. She just completed a guest student year at the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm, Sweden, and her work has been shown around the world, including the United States, Sudan, Brazil, Nigeria, Germany and the United Kingdom. We're very pleased to welcome Issraa to the team!
AGAVE: As a Sudanese artist who has also lived in the U.K., the U.S., Egypt, and Sweden, how does your background inform your art?
ISSRAA EL-KOGALI: Wherever I am I'm Sudanese. As a third culture child I walked a long dusty road to arrive at a place of understanding my identity. It is continually expressed through my work. As it shifts so does the nature and substance of my work.
Your portfolio includes photography, film, spoken word, writing and even jewelry design. Do you have a preferred medium?
The medium chooses me in a way. What I'm living and feeling suddenly manifests as photo projects or words on a page and so on.
What professional achievements are you proudest of?
My little documentary In Search of Hip Hop. In the three years since I made my first film it's been featured in festivals around the world, and last month it was optioned by BBC Arabic. It's an 11-minute film that keeps giving back! It is also an incredible privilege to join Agave Magazine -- it's an opportunity for me to learn about my contemporaries, and I hope that my experience of the mixed Arab-African aesthetic and my training will add a distinctive flavour and dynamic.
What has been your most challenging work so far?
Nora's Cloth has been my most challenging work, primarily because it's a long-term project where I've had to acquire new skills while I developed the different parts of the installation. It's also the most rewarding. Just the idea on paper won me an Ibsen Scholarship!
What advice would you like to pass on to artists and photographers who are interested in submitting to Agave Magazine?
Submit your work! If you don't try you can't succeed.
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