Document Type


Publication Date



Suakin, Sudan, Red Sea, architecture, Jean-Pierre Greenlaw, Port Sudan


Despite its ruined modern state, the coral-built architecture of the island city of Suakin on Sudan's Red Sea coast is well known to scholars of vernacular architecture. Its enduring reputation may be attributed to the copious documentation of its houses, mosques, and public buildings that appeared in the 1976 publication The Coral Buildings of Suakin by the artist Jean-Pierre Greenlaw. This paper considers the visual project of Greenlaw and its legacy, with a focus on the intertwined relationship between the processes of architectural documentation, the writing of architectural history, and the directives of preservation during the last years of British rule in Sudan.

Publisher Attribution

Nancy Um, “Greenlaw’s Suakin: The Limits of Architectural Representation and the Continuing Lives of Buildings in Coastal Sudan,” African Arts 44:4 (Winter 2011): 36-51.



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