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Hajooj Kuka on Discovering the Music of Sudan in His Film 'Beats of the Antonov'

August 4, 2015

Hajooj Kuka went to Sudan to cover the conflict and atrocities, but hidden beneath the roar of jet engines and the explosions that inevitably followed, he discovered a different kind of sound.

Premieres on KCTS 9, Monday, August 3 at 10 p.m.
Available online August 4–September 2, 2015.


The Antonov State Company is a Ukranian aircraft manufacturing company whose jets are used in civil war between the two Sudanese states. Simply called Antonovs, the roar of these jets signal the inevitable deafening explosion of the bombs they carry. Once the sonic booms of the jets, the crackling of fires and the screams of panic from those targetted have subsided, an unexpected sound can be heard — laughter.

They laugh because they are not hurt. They laugh because they have survived. And it is this laughter that inspires their music. The real beats of the Sudan do not come from the rythmic thump of bombs being dropped, but from the hands, feets and mouths of those who continue to survive in these war-torn countries.

Beats of the Antonov explores how music binds a community together, offering hope and a common identity for refugees engaged in a fierce battle to protect cultural traditions and heritage from those trying to obliterate them.

Watch the trailer for Beats of the Antonov