About Somali Culture

Get enlightened with some of the fascinating works from and about Somalia that are the stepping stones for the development of I am also Somalia!

Articles

Stabilisation extraversion and political settlements in somalia” By Tobias Hagmann, 2016
This study highlights the role of external aid in dysfunctional statebuilding efforts in Somalia. Rather than assuming that foreign actors are outside the local and national political settlements, such actors should rather be seen as an integral part of these processes.

Poetry

“Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth” 2011 by Warsaw Shire. Shire is an award winning poet of Somali descent based in London. Shire’s poems are laden with longing for other lands and complicated by the contradictions of belonging in new ones. Her poems has recently gotten much attention because of their appearance on Beyoncés visual album Lemonade from 2016.

The Sea Migrations“; “Disorientation“; “Orphan” and others by Caasha-Luul Mohamoud Yusuf, a Somali poet. She is quickly emerging as one of the most exciting young poets living in the Somali diaspora.

Plays

Struggle” by Firdos Ali, 2015, London. “Struggle” is a story about the how a woman, Suuban, becomes the voice of her community because of a youtube video she’s made about her problems being both black and muslim.

Media

Araweeld Abroad Magazine. Named after the ancient Somali Queen; this online magazine is a cyber homecoming for the baati babes and nomadic camel queens currently living outside the motherland. Araweelo Abroad is a safe space for Somali women to reflect, celebrate and talk about their experiences.

Afrikanske Stemmer, Radioprogramm på P1. I Afrikanske Stemmer kan du bl.a. høre om afrikansk science fiktion, om opfindsomme afrikanske mobilapps og om den nyeste mode indenfor fletninger.

Warriors from North” 2009, Documentary film by Søren Steen Jespersen and Danish-Somali Nasib Farah. This film investigates the deep troubling tendency in how young Danish-Somalis get recruited by terror organisations like Al-Shabaab. You can watch the film for free here.

Through the Fire 2013, Documentary film by Eunice Lau. The film tells the stories of remarkable Somali women who risk their lives to run essential humanitarian projects that have sustained their communities through decades of conflict. Among one of the women portrayed is Nobel Peace nominee Dr Hawa Abdi whom for more than two decades, sheltered 90,000 Somali refugees during the long civil war.

Books

„Hvor kommer du fra? Min vej til Denmark“ by Fatuma Ali, 1994
This book is the personal story of Fatima Ali, an inspiring psychiatrist who (f. 1950) has lived in Denmark since 1977. She’s grown up in Somalia as a daughter of a leading politician.

„The Fallen State. Dissonance, Dictatorship and Death in Somali“ by Alice Bettis Hashim, 1997
This book examines the problems of the first thirty years of African independence. Using Somalia as a case study, the author investigates the factors that have led to the present chaos.

„A Modern History of the Somali. Nation and State in the Horn of Africa“ by I.M.Lewis, 2002
This book has, from its first publication, been an essential reference tool for research of any aspect of society, history and culture in this part of Africa.

Historical Dictionary of Somalia. New Edition.“ by Mohamed Haji Mukhtar, 2003
This Dictionary covers Somalia’s origin, history, culture, and language, as well as current economic and political issues.

„Somalia to Europe. Stories from the Somali Diaspora.“ ed. by Jawaahir Daahir, Abyan Cusmaan, Marilyn Ricci and Idil Osman, 2011
This book is an important chronicle of the experiences of the Somali community that has made Leicester its home.

Interlocutors

Amal Aden, a Somali activist, debater and writer based in Norway Amal is one of the teachers of the Danish Somali Storytelling Academy. She is a strong voice within the Norwegian LGBT movement and gives with her books a unique insight in the social og psychological dynamics that exist in the somali community in Norway especially with a focus on the difficult situation many women and children are in. She’s the author of:

„Se oss. Bekymringsmelding fra en ung norsksomalisk kvinne.“ from 2008
„Det skal merkes at de gråter. Om likestilling blant somaliere i Norge.“ from 2011

Diriye Osman, a Somali writer based in Great Britain, blogger and painter, who amongst other has written „Fairytales for Lost Children“ from 2013, a book that is narrated by Somalis who are constantly on the verge of self-revelation. The stories are set in Kenya, Somalia and South London.

Abdi Phenomenal, a Somali spoken word artist and activist engaged in social work with the youth based in The United States. In the spring 2016 he created the well received performance “Chronicles of the Diaspora” in Minnesota about young Somalis relationship to Somalia. See an example på Adbis spoken word performance here.

Nadifa Mohamed
, a Somali writer and literature blogger. She’s the author of:
„Black Mamba Boy” from 2009. This book is a semi-biographical account of her father’s life in Yemen in the 1930s and ’40s, during the colonial period.
„The Orchard of Lost Souls” from 2013. This book is about a mother-daughter relationship at the end af the civil war in Somalia.

Persons of interest 

Iman Mohamed Abdulmajid, Supermodel, Philanthropist and widow to David Bowie.

Dr. Martin Orwin, a scholar in Somali and Amharic at the School of Oriental ans African Studies in London. Researches in Somali poetry; the relationship between language and music.

Ilkacase Qays, a Somali rapper based in The United States, known by most Somali diasporas across generations.