Arts and Culture

#SomaliWeekFestival Brings Together Yusub Geenyo, Ali Dhaanto, Aar Maanta, Ahmed Naji, Dur Dur Band

It is a rare occasion to have so many talented Somalis, musicians and otherwise, in the same venue. For one week staring today, London based Somali Week will bring together a rare Somali talent.

Kayd Somali Arts and Culture, in collaboration with its partners will present Somali Week Festival (SWF) 2016. This year’s festival will run from Friday 21st October to Sunday 30th October at various other venues across London.

British Somalis, Somali Week Festival is an integral part of Black History Month and offers the best of Somali arts and culture, both old and new. The festival offers a mix of events including poetry, literature, panel discussions, documentary film screenings and music. Through these different artistic forms, SWF has explored a variety of themes in past years and has become a widely recognized and anticipated annual event in the UK.

Theme of the Year: Leadership and Creativity
‘Leadership and Creativity’ has been chosen as the main theme for this year’s Somali Week Festival programme of activities. Throughout history, art and literature have had a profound impact on the daily lives of Somalis in the Horn of Africa; there have been very few significant events in the field of politics, economics, or social affairs that have not been expressed through the arts. Artists, through their cultural expression, have deeply shaped public attitudes and opinions, and consequently the social and political dimensions of Somali society. While poetry has always been a dominant artistic medium, the influences of other mediums of expression such as theater and music have fluctuated over time depending on the social-political climate.

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Given the importance of artists in Somali public life, Kayd Somali Arts and Culture will explore the theme of leadership and creativity from a range of different angles by inviting some of the most popular and established artists to this year’s Festival. The festival will offer us a platform to engage with broader questions of what constitutes good leadership, and the meaning of this in the past, present, and future. We intend to place intergenerational and transnational artistic exchanges at the heart of this year’s festival, to explore how leadership in the arts has changed across time and space. While we have invited several contemporary and more traditional high-profiles from the Somali horn, we also plan to forefront Somali artists who have been born or raised in Europe or North America. Together these different generations and groups of artists have greatly enriched Somali arts.

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This year, we are delighted to welcome a number of highly esteemed international guests, including scholars, activists, poets, writers and playwrights, musicians and other artists from the Somali region, the UK and the wider diaspora. Our guests include: Prof Ahmed I Samatar, founding Dean of Macalester’s Institute for Global Citizenship; Prof Ali Jimcale, lecturer at City University of New Yor; Yurub Geeyo and Furinle, members of Xigaha Geeska; Said Salah, esteemed playwright, poet and teacher; Cali Dhaanto, singer-songwriter; writer Nuruddin Farah; Ahmed Nahi Saad, singer, musician, and song writer; Donia Jamal Adam, development worker, and human rights activist; Mona Kosar Abdi, Somali–American multimedia journalist; Fathia Absie, journalist, filmmaker, and storyteller; Abdilkarim Jiir, music composer, and manager of the Somalia National Theatre; Abdikadir Shube, poet and activist; Dheeg poet and member of Somaliland house of elders; Andrew Harding, journalist and writer; Abdi Roble, Founder and Executive Director of the Somali Documentary Project; Caabi Mirre, signer and musician; artist Khadra Muse Yusuf; poet Luqmaan Cali Waraabe; and independent researcher Bodhari Warsame.

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These guests will be sharing a platform and collaborating with the following UK artists and guests: Sheikh Mohamoud Sheikh Dalmar, Nadifa Mohamed, Aar Maanta, Sagal Ibrahim Shire, Fatuma Khaireh, Mahamed Haykel, Abdirahman Mohammed Abtidoon, Abira Hussein Abdisalam Hereri, Caasha-Luul Mohamed, Clare Pollard, Hibaaq Osman, Mohammed Shire, Aisha Farah, Zainab Dahir, Dr Martin Orwin, Ismaaciil C. Ubax, Rashid Sheikh Abdillahi, Dr.Idil Osman, Mohammed Abdullahi Artan, and many more.

Here is the complete brochure for Somali Week 2016: SWF2016

You can also visit:  Kayd 


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