Portrait of Ahmed Zakaria and his wife. Copyright Rashid Photo Studio.
Portrait of Ahmed Zakaria and his wife. Copyright Rashid Photo Studio.

Rashid Photo Studio

Premiere for 'Hopes & Dreams' at Omdurman's national cinema. Copyright Rashid Photo Studio.
Rashid Photo Studio

The Al Rashid Studio in Atbara is the largest private photo studio in Sudan. The studio includes over four million negatives dating back to the 1940s of public, private and family events, as well as of local industry, politics and movements. Atbara was at the centre of Sudan’s railway industry and regarded as the cradle of the Sudanese trade union movement and of Sudanese communism.

The studio’s founder, Rashid Mahdi (1923-2008), was a Sudanese cameraman, film producer and director ,and a self-taught photographer. Following his graduation from the industrial school in Omdurman, he bought his first camera. Rashid Mahdi then returned to Atbara to establish his own studio and what was Atbara’s first photo studio in 1939, with his self-built ‘illuminate camera’ constructed of wood. Rashid Mahdi and his studio thrived and was continued by Amin El Rashid (1945-), son of Rashid Mahdi, up to the mid-1990s.

Amin El Rashid is passionate about preserving the studio’s collections, for both the studio’s legacy but also as a cultural heritage of Sudan, especially of the cosmopolitan city that was Atbara, and as a resource for researchers. For, as stated by Amin, ‘a country without a history is a country without a future’. Amin has been working with Sudan Memory since 2017 to record a large part of the studio’s archive.

What is presented here is a selection of scanned materials that showcases this collection. For more information on the collection, please contact the collection contributor.

Atbara, Sudan

A photograph of a priest of the Coptic church and his family

A photograph taken at the farewell for Alrasheed Sir Alkhatim

Mohammad Abdul-Jabbar, Better Known As Abu Janzir

The family of Abbass Mahmoud: Saad Abbass Mahmoud and his brother Omer Abbass Mahmoud

The training school for new recruits in the city of Atbara

Ibrahim Hassan Saleh, footballer

Setting the foundation for the Egyptian Community School and viewing the graves of martyrs during the visit of the Egyptian ambassador to the city of Atbara

The headmaster Roufly. Camboni School in the city of Atbara

A photograph of Al-Sayed Abd Al-Qadir Ahmed Ibrahim

A photograph of a group of colleagues as they bid farewell to a colleague

Al-Sir Ali

Ahmed Mohammed Saleh shaking hands with the people welcoming him alongside Mr.Sersewareo

Crowd protesting against the regime in the revolution of October against the president Ibrahim Abood

Ali Jinn, a Sudanese police officer from the railway authority

Mohammed Ali Abbas

Members of a secondary school for military practice in the city of Atbara

A photograph of Mr. Ahmed Abd-Al Rahman

The Islamic Charter Front on a political night

A photograph of a Sudanese male citizen

Eid celebrations

A photograph that brings together a number of Masonic order members, the photo was taken outdoors at night.

Railway's Personnel Department

Abd-Almoniem Mahjoub and another Sudanese male citizen

The family of Al-Saga'd at the city of Atbara

A photograph of Hatim Hasan

A photograph of dignitaries and government officials in the city of Atbara

A photograph taken of seven Sudanese citizens

Three officers from the Northern territory police department

A photograph of Imam Mohammed

Sudanese male citizen and his daughter

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