Oct 18, 2010

Somaliland: Cultural Week Festival in London

From Saturday, 23 October 2010, to Sunday, 31 October 2010, the annual Somali Week Festival will be held in London. Examining the topic of ‘Tradition and Modernity’, various artists will provide personal interpretations of the theme and encourage reflection upon Somali arts and culture.

Below is an article published by Kayd.org:

Kayd Somali Arts and Culture, in collaboration with Redsea-online, Ocean Somali and other Somali and Somaliland Communities, are proud to present the annual Somali Week Festival at Oxford House in Derbyshire Street, Bethnal Green, London E2 6HG. The festival is part of Black History Month and will run from Saturday the 23rd to Sunday the 31st of October [2010]. The festival offers the best of Somali arts and culture, both old and new, presenting a mix of events including poetry, literature, drama and panel discussions.

For the last two years each Somali Week Festival has been dedicated to a specific theme. In 2008 the theme was ‘Gobannimo’, a Somali word with no direct English equivalent that encompasses independence, freedom, and sovereignty and collectively bears some parallel to the concept of ‘citizenship’. Throughout the festival we sought to explore the facets of the term ‘Gobannimo’, including concepts of independence, freedom, personal responsibility. Last year, the theme was ‘Censorship’, and sought to explore the relationships between creative expression, censorship and self-censorship.

The 2010 festival will be examining the topic of ‘Tradition and Modernity’. Once more we will use a range of artistic events to look at the complex and important ideas around these concepts. A number of highly esteemed international guests will take part, including poets, writers and a playwright. Participating artists will include both those perceived to be working with more ‘traditional’ Somali art forms such as our highly-prized poetry and those expressing themselves through more ‘modern’ forms such as novels and essays. There will also be performances by and discussions with international and local artists working in other disciplines. Throughout the week, we will encourage all who take part in these events to examine their own relationship to modernity and tradition in these diverse art forms.

The 2010 festival will provide a great opportunity to meet with Mahamed Ibrahim Warsame ‘Hadraawi’, Amina Abdilahi, Ahmed Saleebaan Bidde, Boon Hirsi and Ahmed Ibrahim Awali. We are also delighted to have two remarkable Somali women showcasing their latest fictional works: Yasmen Mahamud from the USA, and London’s Nadifa Mohamed. Nadifa will be present to discuss her book, Black Mamba Boy, and Yasmeen will introduce her work, Nomad Diaries.

This year we [Kayd Somali Arts and Culture] are proud to host the first-ever collaboration between the London-based music collective The Grand Union Orchestra and a range of Somali musicians during the festival. We hope you will join us and enjoy the festivities throughout the week!