ANATABAN’S “BLACK TIDE”

South Sudanese artists stand up for their rights to clean water and a healthy environment

Trying to foster peace in a country – South Sudan – wracked by one of the world’s bloodiest and destructive wars.

Giving a voice to those most urgently needing to be heard. And now attempting to roll back the “black tide” of oil pollution sweeping over the country

Since its founding in 2016, Anataban – it means “we are sick and tired” in Arabic – has taken on the biggest problems facing South Sudan, the world’s youngest country – and one of its most troubled ones.

The amazing thing about Anataban. It is not a political party. Nor a group of development workers.

Anataban is, rather, a collective of artists – artists who have given themselves a very big job – to mobilize their fellow South Sudanese to stand up and speak for their rights to peace, prosperity and clean water.

To that end, Anataban stages street theatre; open mic evenings; murals, sculpture and poetry exhibitions and competitions; and makes videos.

Such as “Black Tide” – which has just been released.

“Anataban was founded by 20 artists of all description. We got together for a very simple purpose: to get social justice for our people,” explains John Ador Akoy, Anataban’s co-founder and head of theatre.

Going by his artist’s name of “Long John”, John adds: “Along the way, we found another objective: creating ways for our people to express their concerns and their talents – through culture.”

The South Sudanese recently ranked themselves the “unhappiest country in the world”. Understandably so.

More than half of this country of 12 million is facing famine.

This famine and the incessant civil wars have joined with a crippling lack of clean water – caused by oil pollution – in forcing well over a third of the South Sudanese to flee for their lives.

In what may sound paradoxical, this country of crisis also has a thriving cultural scene. Many of its artists, poets and theatre people got their starts at the “Hagana” festival. Hagana means “It is ours”, and the festival has become South Sudan’s most important venue for the performing arts.

“Not a paradox at all,” explains Long John. “There have always been a large number of the artistically-gifted in South Sudan. They were crying out to be heard, to be read, to be seen. And now they have a place to do such – at Anataban’s  events.”

WATCH THE FULL VIDEO

ARTICLES ON ANATABAN(selection)

BBC: Painting for Peacehttps://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04ddzht/p04dc9w8

Die Zeit: Müde vom Krieghttps://www.zeit.de/gesellschaft/2017-07/ana-taban-suedsudan-afrika-fs

United States Institute for Peace: An artists’ movement for peace catches fire https://www.usip.org/publications/2018/01/south-sudan-artists-movement-peace-catches-fire

ANATABAN: FACTS AND FIGURES

Founded in 2016 in Juba, South Sudan by 20 artists.

Campaigns:

Anataban – “We are sick and tired”

Bloodshed Free2017

Malesh – We are sorry

Soutna – Our voice

Social Media:

Facebook:  Anataban SouthSudan

Twitter: @AnatabanSS

Linkedin: John Ador Akoy

Coordinator: Manasseh Mathiang

Assistant to the coordinator: John Ador Akoy

Contact via Skype: Longjonn2

Download the full press kit:

Anataban’s “Black Tide” (DE)

Künstler aus dem Südsudan fordern ihr Recht auf sauberes Wasser und eine gesunde Umwelt ein

Das Video zum schockierenden Verbrechen gegen die Menschheit und Umwelt im Südsudan.

Die Band Anataban hat das Bestreben, Frieden in einem von blutigen und zerstörerischen Kriegen verwüsteten Land – dem Südsudan – zu fördern. Zu diesem Zweck verlieh das Künstlerkollektiv jenen eine Stimme, die am dringendsten gehört werden müssen.

Und nun gibt es von Anataban den Versuch, die “black tide” (Schwarze Flut) der Ölvergiftung, die den Südsudan überrollt, zurückzudrängen.

Finanzielle Unterstützung erhielten Anataban hierbei durch die Organisation Hoffnungszeichen e.V. in Kosntanz.

Seit ihrer Gründung im Jahr 2016 thematisieren Anataban –  auf Arabisch “wir haben es satt“ – die großen Krisen des jüngsten Lands der Welt, dem Südsudan.  Anataban ist weder politische Partei noch Entwicklungsorganisation – erstaunlich angesichts ihrer Mission. Vielmehr ist Anataban ein Künstlerkollektiv aus Menschen, die sich etwas Großes vorgenommen haben: Sie wollen ihre südsudanesischen Mitbürger mobilisieren, um ihr Recht auf Frieden, Wohlstand und sauberes Wasser durchzusetzen.

Anatabans Mittel zum Zweck: Straßentheater; offene Musikabende; Wandbilder; Poetry-Slams; Kunstausstellungen; sowie Videos. Das jüngste davon – „Black Tide“ (Schwarze Flut) – wurde gerade online gestellt.

Das gesamte Video können Sie hier sehen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZM5Z3xuDek4

„Anataban wurde von 20 Künstlern aller Gattungen gegründet. Wir haben uns aus einem einfachen Zweck zusammengeschlossen: um soziale Gerechtigkeit für unsere Landsleute zu erreichen “, erklärt John Adoy Adar, Sprecher von Ana Taban.

Bekannt unter seinem Künstlernamen „Long Jonn“ fügt John hinzu: „Auf unserem Weg dorthin haben wir ein anderes Ziel gefunden: Möglichkeiten für unsere Landsleute zu schaffen, ihre Anliegen und Talente auszudrücken – durch Kultur.“

Kürzlich haben sich die Südsudanesen als das “unglücklichste Volk der Welt” eingestuft. Verständlicherweise.

Mehr als die Hälfte der 12 Millionen Südsudanesen leidet Hunger. Verursacht durch die unaufhörlichen Bürgerkriege zwingen diese Hungersnot und der weit verbreiteten Mangel an sauberem Wasser durch die Ölvergiftung die Menschen im Südsudan zur Flucht. Mehr als ein Drittel aller Südsudanesen sind Flüchtlinge.

Es mag paradox klingen, aber dieses Land der Krise und der blanken Not hat eine blühende Kulturszene. Viele seiner Künstler, Dichter und Theatermenschen haben ihren Start beim Festival „Hagana“ bekommen. Hagana bedeutet “Es gehört uns”, und das Festival ist im Südsudan die wichtigste Plattform für die darstellenden Künste geworden.

“Überhaupt kein paradox”, erklärt Long Jonn. „Im Südsudan gab es schon immer viele Kunst-Begabte. Sie lechzen nach Publikum, nach Lesern, nach Veranstaltungsorten. Und nun haben sie all dies – dank Ana Taban.”

Ana Taban: Zahlen und Fakten

Gegründet im Jahr 2016 in Juba, Südsudan, von 20 Künstlern

Kampagnen:

Ana Taban – “Wir sind haben es satt”

Kein Blutvergießen mehr 2017

Malesh – Es tut uns leid

Soutna – unsere Stimme

Facebook: Anataban SouthSudan

Twitter: AnaTabanSS

Kontakt: John Adoy Akar

Linkedin: John Ador Akoy

Skype: Longjonn2

Mob: +211926100114

Artikel über Ana Taban

(Auswahl)

BBC: “Painting for Peace” https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04ddzht/p04dc9w8

Die Zeit: “Müde vom Krieg” https://www.zeit.de/gesellschaft/2017-07/ana-taban-suedsudan-afrika-fs

United States Institute for Peace: “An artists’ movement for peace catches fire” https://www.usip.org/publications/2018/01/south-sudan-artists-movement-peace-catches-fire

Hier geht es zur Pressemappe:

Der Künstler als Aktivist (DE)

Interview mit John Ador Akoy, von Ana Taban

John Ador Akoy hat es weit gebracht – von einem verlassenen Kind im Flüchtlingscamp zu einem der führenden Aktivisten und Künstlern des Südsudan. Weitere Stationen seiner Lebensreise waren ein Gymnasium in Uganda und eine Universität in Kenia.

Heute ist Ador Akoy Autor, Schauspieler, Menschenrechtskämpfer, Personalmanager und Jugendaktivist im Südsudan. Eine seiner wichtigsten Aktivitäten ist die Koordination der Arbeit des südsudanesischen Künstlerkollektivs Ana Taban.

Frage:

John, haben Sie die harten Zeiten im Flüchtlingscamp  – alleine ohne Ihre Eltern – darauf vorbereitet oder sogar prädestiniert, Künstler oder Aktivist zu werden?

John Ador Akoy:

Einerseits gab mir der Überlebenskampf, den ich im Flüchtlingscamp führen musste, wertvolle Einblicke in die Wahrheiten des menschlichen Charakters. Anderseits raubten mir die harten Zeiten die Grundlagen für ein lebenswertes Leben. Das Leben in einem Flüchtlingslager führt zu unnötigem Leid und zu Kämpfen, die oft gravierende Persönlichkeitsstörungen hervorrufen. Mich machte das Leben im Flüchtlingscamp zum Dieb, weil ich damals im Diebstahl den einzigen Weg sah, an überlebenswichtige Dinge zu kommen.

Frage:

Poetry slams, Open mic nights, Skulpturenausstellungen, Musikvideos mit sozialen Botschaften: Ana Taban unterhält ein großes und atemberaubend abwechslungsreiches Angebot an Veranstaltungen und Aktivitäten. Wie gehen Sie dabei vor, Events für Ana Taban zu organisieren? Geschieht das alles spontan? Was motiviert Ihre Arbeit – die Sorge um den Südsudan und seine Bevölkerung?

John Ador Akoy:

Das Erste, was Sie wissen müssen: Es ist nicht einfach, eine öffentliche Veranstaltung im Südsudan abzuhalten. Und das liegt an der Anforderung, dass jedes Treffen von mehr als zehn Personen von den Sicherheitskräften genehmigt werden muss.

Sie fragen: Warum bieten wir bei Ana Taban eine solche Vielfalt an Veranstaltungen?

Ich gebe Ihnen die Antwort: Weil die Menschen im Südsudan gerne auf vielfältige Weise erreicht werden wollten. Es gibt ein Publikum für Poesie, für Drama, für bildende Kunst, für Mode und sogar für Comics.

Manche unserer Aktivitäten sind eher spontan. Konstant und konsequent ist hingegen unser fortwährendes Engagement für die Bewältigung von Krisen und den Beistand bei Sorgen der Südsudanesen, die wiederum häufig die Themen unserer Videos sind. Unser jüngstes Video „Black Tide“ betrifft die verheerende Ölvergiftung des Südsudan, die wir „den schweigsamen Killer“ nennen.

Frage: Warum haben Sie sich entschieden, “Black Tide” zu drehen?

John Ador Akoy:

Einer unserer Grundwerte lautet: “Wir stehen solidarisch mit unseren leidenden Brüdern und Schwestern”. Der Südsudan ist reich an Öl. Das könnte ein Segen sein. Der Grund, warum es das nicht ist: Es wird missbraucht. Und nichts Gutes kommt aus Missbrauch. Die für Öl zuständigen Ministerien und Institutionen müssen das Richtige tun. Sie müssen das Leben und die Gesundheit des Menschen an die erste Stelle setzen.

Der Grund, warum wir “Black Tide” produziert haben ist, dass die Umweltkrise in unserem Land jeden Tag schlimmer wird. Wir verlieren jeden Tag Menschenleben – und das in einem Land, das ohnehin schon so stark von Kriegen, Krankheiten und Not heimgesucht wird. Wir Südsudanesen müssen es schaffen, dieses Problem in den Griff zu bekommen – auch wenn es bedeutet, weniger Öl zu fördern. Das Wichtigste ist eine sauberere Umwelt zu schaffen. Denn das bedeutet eine gesündere Gesellschaft – und das ist es, was wir zuallererst und dringend brauchen.W

Hier geht es zur Pressmappe:


The artist as an activist

Interview with Anataban’s John Ador Akoy

John Ador Akoy has come – literally – a long way. His journey to being one of South Sudan‘s leading activists and artists started in a refugee camp, to which he was brought to keep him safe. John went on to finish secondary school in Uganda and to get a B.A. in Kenya.

Along his way, John has been – and still is – an author, actor, human rights defender, human resources manager and youth activist. One of his major activities nowadays is helping coordinate the work of Anataban, South Sudan‘s collective of artist activists.

John, did your hard times in a refugee camp – being there without your parents – prepare or even predestine you to be an artist or activist?

Yes, the hard times I had in the refugee camp gave me first-hand insights into life. The hard times also robbed me of living space and other basics of human life. Living in a refugee camp results in unnecessary suffering and in struggles that often lead to a total disruption of personality.  For example, the life I was forced to lead turned me fora while into a thief, because I saw this as the only way to get any of the things that I needed to live.

People in South Sudan like to be reached in a lot of art forms

Poetry slams. Open mic nights. Sculpture exhibitions. Music videos with social missions. Anataban stages a large and bewilderingly diversified range of events and activities. How do you at Anataban go about creating events? Does it all happen spontaneously? Is it motivated by concern about South Sudan and its people?

The first thing that everybody needs to know is that it not easy to stage a public event in South Sudan. And that’s because of the requirement that each gathering of more than 10 people needs to obtain a security clearance in advance.

Why do we at Anataban offer such a diversity of events? The answer: because people in South Sudan like to be reached in such a diversity of ways. There are audiences for poetry, for drama, for visual arts, for fashion and even for pictorial/comic books.

We often do our activities on a rather spontaneous basis. A number, on the other hand, manifest our ongoing commitment to deal with developing crises and with issues of citizens’ concern. These crises and concerns are often the the subject of our videos. Our latest covers the devastating oil pollution that is sweeping South Sudan. It is silently killing people.

We stand in solidarity with our suffering brothers and sisters.

Why did you decide to do “Black Tide”?

One of our core values is  “We stand in solidarity with our suffering brothers and sisters.” South Sudan is rich in oil. That could be a blessing. The reason why it is not: it is being abused. And nothing good comes out of abuse.

The ministries and institutions responsible for oil have to do the right thing. They  have to put human life and health first.

The reason why we made “Black Tide” is because the crisis is getting worse and worse  every day. We are losing more lives every day – and this in a country that has been so heavily stricken by warfare. We the people of South Sudan need to move forward and take care of this problem – even if it means pumping less oil. What is most important is getting a cleaner environment, because that means a healthier society and that is what we so badly need.

WATCH THE FULL VIDEO

Download the full press kit:

Justice on trial in South Sudan

Kerbino Wol: vigorous defense in kangaroo court

by Joseph Oduha 
April 5, 2019

Kerbino Wol is one of South Sudan’s leading and most respected businesspersons and philanthropists. Like Peter Biar Ajak, the renowned human rights defender, Kerbino is the kind of a person to build a nation upon. And like Peter and six other defendants, Kerbino is now on trial. The list of charges levied against him by the prosecution is long and ludicrous. They include terror, sabotage, banditry and crimes against the state.

On April 4, 2019, Kerbino mounted a spirited defense in South Sudan’s High Court. Given an opportunity to speak on his own behalf – something denied to Peter Biar Ajak – Kerbino vigorously refuted the charges, calling them “false and fake”.

Kerbino spoke movingly of the torture and terror he has experienced during his year in detention. Kerbino is expected to be followed on Friday by Peter, who has been promised an opportunity to address the court.

For further information: https://kerbinowol.com/

Articles on crimes against humanity in South Sudan

Here’s a collection of articles in leading media on oil companies’ alleged complicity in crimes against humanity in South Sudan

THE WALL STREET JOURNALOil Companies in South Sudan Could Be Complicit in War Crimes, U.N. Sayshttps://www.wsj.com/articles/oil-companies-in-south-sudan-could-be-complicit-in-war-crimes-u-n-says-11550682399








THE NEW YORK TIMESOil Companies May Be Complicit in Atrocities in South Sudan, U.N. Panel Sayshttps://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/20/world/africa/south-sudan-oil-war-crimes.html








OpinioJurisUNCHR in South Sudan Points to Oil Companies’ Complicity in Gross Human Rights Abuseshttps://opiniojuris.org/2019/03/15/united-nations-commission-on-human-rights-in-south-sudan-points-to-oil-companies-complicity-in-gross-human-rights-abuses/









Democracy Now

U.N. Warns of Oil Company Complicity in South Sudan Mass Atrocities

https://www.democracynow.org/2019/2/21/headlines/un_warns_of_oil_company_complicity_in_south_sudan_mass_atrocities







Buisness& Human Rights Resource Centre

Sweden authorises indictment of Lundin Oil executives over alleged complicity in war crimes in So. Sudan; co. denies allegations

https://www.business-humanrights.org/en/swedish-prosecutors-to-question-lundin-petroleums-ceo-for-companys-possible-complicity-in-south-sudan-war-crimes-company-comments








National Public Radio

Every Kind Of Norm Is Broken’: U.N. Says Brutality In S. Sudan May Rise To War Crimes

https://www.npr.org/2019/02/21/696581068/as-un-looks-into-war-crimes?t=1552997388176







Reuters

U.N. reports mass rape, killings, torture in South Sudan, seeks oil scrutiny

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-southsudan-un/u-n-reports-mass-rape-killings-torture-in-south-sudan-seeks-oil-scrutiny-idUSKCN1Q917Q



Oil: the source of suffering in South Sudan

#BloodOil in South Sudan
Statement by Klaus Stieglitz

Intro:
South Sudan‘s people are suffering. Rampant civil war, accompanied by mass killings, rapes, torture and forcible expulsion are the order of the day for the 12 million inhabitants of the world‘s youngest country, along with poisoned water, fields, livestock and lives.

One major cause of this suffering: oil. Pumped by companies knowing only greed and permitted to do such by a government whose sole purpose in life seems to be enriching itself.


Wastes of Oil pollution – Rowaing State   

That the world knows of South Sudan‘s suffering is thanks to such organizations as Sign of Hope, and, especially, Klaus Stieglitz.

Klaus is vice-chairperson of Sign of Hope, which provides humanitarian and development assistance around the world. Part of this provision is the operating of medical clinics, and it was this that got Sign of Hope involved with South Sudan.

In the late 90s, Sign of Hope’s clinics began treating South Sudanese who had been afflicted with new and devastating kinds of ailments. It quickly turned out that these stemmed from lead and other wastes emanating from neighboring oil fields.

To ascertain the connection between the oil wastes seeping into the ground water in South Sudan and the health problems being experienced by local residents, Klaus organized and participated in trips to the country’s oil fields, in which he was joined by scientists in gathering samples of water and residents’ hair. These were then analyzed in certified laboratories by some of the world’s leading forensic scientists.

Published in scientific journals, the findings confirmed that South Sudan’s water, land, people and livestock have been contaminated with lead and other toxic materials at rates that are some of the highest in the world.

These environmental problems form part of the reports recently issued by the UN Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan.

https://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/Pages/NewsDetail.aspx?NewsID=24312&LangID=E

Statement by Klaus Stieglitz:

The report issued by the UN’S Human Rights Commission for South Sudan details the virtually unimaginable scope of alleged crimes against humanity – “mass killings, rapes, torture and forcible displacement of local residents” – being committed in the country. Perpetrators are often the armies that are fighting for control over the country and specifically over its oil fields. Oil is thus the source of the suffering in South.

As the UN report so amply details, the wish to assert this control triggered much of the conflict gripping South Sudan. And the revenues ensuing from the pumping of oil keep the conflicts going – by providing the money need to support the militia waging them.

Due to their willingness to abet these flows of corruption-produced funds, greedy and stop-at-nothing oil companies have been accused by the UN of being “complicit” to the above-listed crimes. Another kind of offense being perpetrated by the oil companies: the poisoning of South Sudan’s water with lead and other wastes.

To date, more than 600,000 people have been affected by this contamination. Destruction of health, lives and livelihoods has been the result.

The oil companies are by no means not the only parties to these crimes against the environment. The incredibly corrupt government of South Sudan has been more than happy to turn a blind eye to the companies’ misdeeds. In doing such, the government has neglected its obligations to effectively supervise the industry.

Prime among these oil companies is Malaysia’s Petronas, which is also a sponsor of the Daimler-led Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One racing team.

We are calling upon Petronas and upon the world’s oil industry in general to stop their poisoning of people and the environment.

We are calling upon Petronas and upon the world’s oil industry in general to start making amends for the damage they have wreaked – by providing victims with compensation, medical treatment, new homes and new lives.

We are joining the UN in calling upon the government of South Sudan to put an end to its toleration of contraventions of human rights. Entailed in this will have to be bringing the perpetrators to justice, as this is the only way for the large number of victims to get retribution.

Hear our plea: give the people of South Sudan an opportunity to live their lives in health and peace.

South Sudan opposition leader calls for nation-wide uprising

South Sudan opposition leader calls for a nation-wide uprising against corrupt, oppressive Kiir regime

By Joseph Oduha

One of South Sudan’s leading politicians has slammed the government for suspending Al-Watan, one of the country’s major newspapers, and has issued a call for a nation-wide uprising against this oppression.

Dr. Dario Hakim, the leader of the People’s Democratic Movement (PDM), described as “unlawful” the order from South Sudan’s media authority to end the newspaper’s publication.

“PDM has learned with great dismay of the action by the Media Authority to suspend Al-Watan Newspaper, which was based on its unjustified claim that the newspaper had failed to fulfill its operating license terms!” Dr. Hakim said in a press statement.  

Dr. Hakim accused South Sudan’s president Salva Kiir and and its information minister Michael Makuei Lueth of orchestrating a concerted attack against freedom of expression in South Sudan.

“South Sudan is today run under the whim and dictatorship of President Salva Kiir and his accomplices,” added Hakim.

Hakim launched a call for a nationwide uprising against this dictatorship.

“President Salva Kiir’s dictatorship must come to an end. It is time for the country to free itself from his tyranny, corruption and disregard of law,”  Hakim concluded.

Credit : radiotamazuj.org

Why independent journalism is crucial in South Sudan

by Joseph Oduha

It has been one of the most encouraging trends of my professional life.

The world – or at least the civilized portion of it – is placing an ever-greater importance on journalism. This world has been devoting more and more resources to fostering vibrant and unfettered media communities. This is being done because the world knows that these communities are key elements – along with vigilant and aware citizens – of robust and development-capable civil societies.

It has been one of the most discouraging developments of my professional life.

Since mid-December, 2013, the state of independent journalism has been steadily deteriorating in South Sudan, and this although few countries in the world so desperately need objective reporting.

Mid-December 2013 was the launch of what has turned out to be a protracted and concerted attack on South Sudan’s media – by the country’s government and institutions responsible for this sector.

This attack has, unfortunately, been highly productive. Large numbers of journalists have quietly left their professions. Others – fearing for their lives – have fled to neighboring countries. A number of media organizations decided to restrict their coverage to supposedly safe topics – and to make sure that their staff had ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds that are acceptable to the powers that be.

Among the brave rest, those who have resisted this crackdown, a number have been killed. Others have suffered detention or systematic harassment.

Along with the journalists and with the truth itself, prime sufferers from this attack have been the people of South Sudan, who have lost their ways of learning what’s really going on in their country, and their ways of expressing their concerns and wishes. This attack has left our country’s people in a cloud of ignorance and uncertainty.

This cloud has partially lifted in 2018 and in the first part of 2019, in which investigations of illegal and corrupt  practices on the part of the government of South Sudan and its corporate allies were conducted by international organizations and NGOs. These investigations revealed scandalous misappropriations of public funds, horrible environmental practices, and widespread abuses of human and environmental rights.

Rather than helping us in our work, these investigations actually and unfortunately made it even more difficult, as they caused the government to step up its efforts to stifle the truth.

Here are my wishes.

That South Sudan’s journalists, who are so capable and committed, be allowed to do their job.

A job whose pursuit is guaranteed in the constitution of our country.

A pursuit that will benefit each and every one of the 12 million South Sudanese.

Each of whom was promised a free and fair society in the proclamation of our independence in 2011.