Anataban campaign was initiated by a group of young Sudanese artists devoting their lives for combating the social injustice in their country and using all available resources for peace in their society. Anataban was founded in 2016 against the atrocities happening in South Sudan. It was used to promote the public’s emotion and peaceful co-existence in the Sudanese society.

What does the word Anataban mean?

The word Anataban means “I AM TIRED” in Arabic language as the word is of Arabic descent. It symbolizes the emotions of violence, anger, and misery of the members. Anataban consists of artists including actors, musicians, writers, visual artists, fashion designers, and comedians who have worked beyond the natural parameters to provide a platform for the youth of South Sudan to express their emotions and aspirations.

How did it all start?

South Sudan has a population of about 13 million and like most developing countries it lacks the basic necessities a country must have. A majority of the people live under extremely difficult conditions. In 2013, a civil war began in the country between two major ethnic groups, the Dinka’s and the Nuer’s. The war was characterized by armed forces and violence especially against women. They faced extreme sexual violence and killings. The war along with the lack of modern infrastructure led to a decrease in food production, poverty, and hunger in the society. It was then that Anataban was established as a form of expression by the artists for the people against the horrific civil war that affected the lives of so many. The campaign grew gradually and spread across the country. In an interview with the Guardian Anataban said that they were tired of everything that has happened, tired of the conflict between the two ethnic groups, tired of sitting in one place and seeing their country turn into ruins. They are tired of seeing their country, a place with a beautiful cultural diversity and natural resources, turn into ash just for the benefit of a few individuals.

What has the Anataban achieved so far?

In September 2016, Anataban took to the streets of Juda on the International Day of Peace, handing out white handkerchiefs, saying, “We are sorry for what we have done to each other”. In 2017 they launched the #BloodShedFree2017 campaign, the aim of which was to create a ceasefire in South Sudan. Anataban has used music and arts as vital tools for the promotion of peace. They released 2 songs; Ana Taban and Malesh, which hugely affected the masses. They also painted the streets of Juda to highlight the emotions of the people about the war, their experiences of the war, and to give hope for a better future.

What is the future?

Anataban has a strong artistry base and uses artivism to engage people and encourage peace.  The aim of the organization is to create a platform for the people to speak out, express, and have their voices heard. They want to create awareness regarding the struggles of the ordinary people, the insecurity of war, and to promote peaceful coexistence.