Ibrahim El-Salahi Prison Notebook 1976

  • Not on view

The Sudanese artist Ibrahim El-Salahi was arrested in September 1975 and held without trial for six months in Khartoum's notorious Kober Prison, wrongfully accused of involvement in an anti-government coup. In the weeks of house arrest that followed his release, the pioneering modernist artist, intellectual, and teacher produced his Prison Notebook. Modest in scale but immeasurable in impact, this sketchbook of masterful pen-and-ink drawings and virtuoso prose and poetry in Arabic served both to exorcise and document his experience behind bars.

Publication excerpt from Ibrahim El-Salahi, Prison Notebook, 1976.
Notebook with thirty-eight ink on paper drawings
page (each approx.): 11 1/4 × 6 3/4" (28.7 × 17 cm); overall (closed): 11 1/4 × 7 1/8 × 1 1/8" (28.7 × 18.1 × 2.9 cm)
Acquired through the generosity of Marlene Hess and James D. Zirin, Catie and Donald Marron, Alice and Tom Tisch (in honor of Christophe Cherix), Marnie Pillsbury and Committee on Drawings and Prints Fund
Object number
© 2024 Ibrahim El-Salahi / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / DACS, London
Associated Work
Drawings and Prints

Installation views

We have identified these works in the following photos from our exhibition history.

How we identified these works

In 2018–19, MoMA collaborated with Google Arts & Culture Lab on a project using machine learning to identify artworks in installation photos. That project has concluded, and works are now being identified by MoMA staff.

If you notice an error, please contact us at [email protected].


If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

MoMA licenses archival audio and select out of copyright film clips from our film collection. At this time, MoMA produced video cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. All requests to license archival audio or out of copyright film clips should be addressed to Scala Archives at [email protected]. Motion picture film stills cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For access to motion picture film stills for research purposes, please contact the Film Study Center at [email protected]. For more information about film loans and our Circulating Film and Video Library, please visit https://www.moma.org/research/circulating-film.

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication, please email [email protected]. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to [email protected].


This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to [email protected].