Art + Design
- Massachusetts College of Art, Boston, MA 1993 Master of Fine Arts Graduated with the honors of the FA- 2D Graduate Award Book
- Sudan University (formerly Khartoum Polytechnic) College of Fine & Applied Art, Khartoum, Sudan 1987 Bachelor of Fine Arts
Born in Sudan, Khalid Kodi is an accomplished artist who has lived and worked in the United States since he immigrated to the US. He is an educator, a public intellectual, and a cultural critic who has emerged as a central figure working on multi and cross-cultural concepts. A pioneer of Participatory Art, he uses visual language to address social change issues and facilitate communication between communities, including communities in conflict and individuals who are not literate. Kodi uses art as a mechanism to create a platform for dialogue on constructions of identity across racial, gender, socio-economic, and other forms of difference; coexistence; justice; and peace.
Khalid Kodi’s work has been widely exhibited with critical acclaim. His exhibitions, featuring nationally and internationally, incorporate sculptures, paintings, installations, and environmental sites, carry outreach and educational messages that promote peace and human dignity, and celebrate diverse cultural heritage. His work has been featured in numerous academic and popular publications, including the New York Times, the Boston Globe, and Nka! The Journal for African Art and others.
Conceptual, Political Work
Kodi’s art carries social justice messages, involving community engagement as a means of pedagogy, and of effecting social change. His conceptual work has tackled the subjects of racism, injustice, civil war, and legacies of slavery and ethnic cleansing, and their impact on human societies in Sudan and beyond. Kodi’s art projects also address questions of post-war, urban planning, and design. They also fall within museum studies, memory, and documentation, focusing on documentation. Through his work, Kodi humanizes, and advocates on behalf of and with victims and survivors of war and genocide in Africa. His forthcoming project, Fighters & Refugees into Builders, aims to involve individuals and groups affected by war in (re)building villages, as a means to promote peace.
Aesthetic Paintings and Installations
In addition to his conceptual and political work, Kodi has produced artwork and installations that are focused on inner aesthetics, in which he explores traditional
storytelling with references to magical realism, by synthesizing colors, rhythms, symbols, and figures – intricately layered in textures.
Academic Journey, Awards and Honors
After receiving an MFA from Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Kodi has taught at Boston College, Massachusetts College of Art and Design, and Brown University. He has held distinguished visiting positions at several institutions. In Summer 2013, he was the inaugural visiting summer faculty and artist in residence at the University of Hawaii at Hilo, where he developed the painting curriculum for the Art Department’s Summer program. Kodi received the prestigious ArtOmi International Arts Colony in New York. He is also a recipient Community Works’ Artist for Social Change Award. At graduation, he received the Massachusetts College of Art and Design Two-Dimensional Fine Art Graduate Award Book. Kodi has successfully applied for grants to support his community engagement art projects. He received Boston College’s Pasquesi Family Award several times. He has applied for and received grants from Freedom House, St. Botolph Club Foundation, Open Society Initiative for Eastern Africa, and Safer World. He completed community art projects funded by these institutions in partnership with several community organizations, including South Sudan’s Hope Society, and Nuba Mountains Relief, Rehabilitation, and Development Organization, among others in the US. A Pioneer in Participatory Art Since the early 1990s Kodi has been actively creating innovative, cutting edge projects and programs aiming to advance sustainable peace between communities with diverse ethnic, cultural, religious, and historical backgrounds. Activities have involved participatory approaches to help communities rebuild and overcome individual and collective war trauma.
Innovative Art Therapy
Kodi uses art to address issues of identity, coexistence, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. His ongoing research and work are on the role of culture – arts, architecture, and urban planning/design — in transforming, rehabilitating, and overcoming the legacies of wars and building communities. He has focused on youth, child soldiers, and women as agents of transformation. He has presented this work at various academic conferences and community and policy platforms.
Kodi has been traveling regularly to warzones, refugee settlements, and IDP in Sudan, South Sudan, and Uganda, where he introduces refugees and war survivors to arts as a means of resistance and exploration of the role of culture generally and arts specifically in overcoming trauma and uplifting the human soul. In 2020, he was invited to advise peace negotiators during Sudan’s peace negotiations in Juba, South Sudan.
Kodi led numerous projects such as Flags and Banners as Voices, an ongoing large project thus far implemented in the US, Uganda, South Sudan, and Sudan, including in areas with communities at risk; he has been a regular contributor to Violence Transformed initiative in the Boston. In 2011 he founded the Artist Movement to Engage Nonviolence (AMEN) at Boston College. Kodi exhibited his work via refugees venous in England, Germany, and the Netherlands.
Kodi has served on the boards of organizations that focus on academia and art, including the Karuna Center for peacebuilding, Sudan Studies Association, NUBIA Inc., and Darfur Rehabilitation Project in New Jersey. Kodi is a founder of the AMEN project, an interfaith dialogue initiative. Kodi is often called upon to contribute his unique perspective on conflicts, identity, and future visions for Sudan and Africa on various platforms.