See My Dunya: HOME exhibition to cast uplifting light on Somali culture in Manchester

When you think Somalia, with headlines of civil war and Hollywood blockbusters focussing on piracy, what comes to your mind?

The picture is always grim. However, an exhibition at HOME hopes to shed a new light on the Somali community in Manchester.

The exhibition See My Dunya, gives an insight in to what it means to be Somali in modern day Britain. Dunya meaning world in Arabic, a language spoken by many Somalis.

Tunde Adekoya, Project Manager of the exhibition, said: “It’s for us to celebrate the everyday experience.”

Within six months a core team of 11 people have pulled together an exhibition which includes photography, music, a short documentary film, along with virtual 3D models showcasing the architecture within Somalia.

The documentary filmed by local filmmakers SSCOPE provides anecdotes and information about the lives of the Somali community. It’s a film about migration, about changing the narrative from conflict to culture.

It presents the history of the Somali community within the UK, from the very first individuals who came after the First World War to those who arrived in the late 80s and early 90s.

The exhibition features Manchester suburb Moss Side and its numerous mosques, barber shops, cafes and shisha bars. It shares the experiences of one of the biggest Somali communities in the United Kingdom, on how people within the community define themselves both as Somali and Mancunian.

The virtual 3D models which were shown at Somerset House are the work of Somali Architecture, a group of young Somalis.

Showcasing the iconic buildings within Somalia, from the pre-colonial architecture to the impact that civil war has had on the country’s infrastructure and heritage, See My Dunya is simply about art and the culture of a community which is often overlooked and under-represented, one which is marred by the history of Somalia.

The exhibition, part of Push Festival, launches on January 12 at HOME. The launch will feature live music, poetry along with local politicians, councillors, activist and writers all under one roof.

See My Dunya Iaunches at HOME on Saturday January 12 at 6pm before the exhibition moves to the Central Library on Monday January 14. It concludes on Saturday March 23.  

Image courtesy of HOME via Twitter, with thanks.

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