6- 7:30 pm Book presentation, "The Mayor of Mogadishu", by Andrew Harding. Chairing this panel is Prof. Amb Iqbal Jhazbay, author of “Somaliland: An African Struggle for Nationhood and the International Recognition”. He is also the former South African ambassador to the state of Eritrea. He is a current professor at the University of South Africa.
The Mayor of Mogadishu is produced by one of the BBC’s most experienced foreign correspondents, Andrew Harding. It reveals the tumultuous life of Mohamud Tarzan Nur - an impoverished nomad who was abandoned in a state orphanage in newly independent Somalia, and became a street brawler and activist. When the country collapsed into civil war and anarchy, Tarzan and his young family became part of an exodus, eventually spending twenty years in north London.But in 2010 Tarzan returned, as mayor, to the unrecognizable ruins of a city now almost entirely controlled by the Islamist militants of Al- Shabab. For many in Mogadishu, and in the diaspora, Tarzan became agalvanizing symbol of courage and hope for Somalia. But for others, he was a divisive thug, who sank beneath the corruption and clan rivalries thatcontinue, today, to threaten the country¹s revival.The Mayor of Mogadishu is a rare insider’s account of Somalia’s optimistic beginnings and subsequent unravelling, and an intimate portrayal of one family’s extraordinary journey.
Recording the Past, and Performances by Dur Dur Band International. 7:30pm-10pm
This session is dedicated to artists and activists who are researching, recording, and writing about the past. The workshop will provide an opportunity to discuss issues of decolonising Somali archives for the benefit of local knowledge production and the importance of creating awareness of the cultural expertise of the people whose ancestors left their mark on these collections. Also, the discussion will address the dire lack of active Somali expertise in the field of archival and object collections, and the issue of cultural ownership of Somali archives, many of which were either destroyed during the war or scattered around the world.
Chairing this event will be Mary Harper, Africa Editor at the BBC World Service. She is the author of Getting Somalia Wrong? Faith, War and Hope in a Shattered State.
Bodhari Warsame, an independent researcher, will share two kinds of sound recordings that constitute a rare treasure in the modern Somali archival heritage. The first batch was captured in 1910 from a group of Somali touring cultural entertainers employed in what was then known as völkerschauen (ethnic shows), at the time popular in Europe and beyond between the 1870s and 1930. The second batch is captured from two Somali men ensnared in the WWI hostilities in Europe who were later put in German enemy prisoners of war camps.
Abdi Roble is the Founder and Executive Director of the Somali Documentary Project. A multi-award winning and documentary photographer, and archivist who has exhibited across North America and beyond, he will share over a decade of documenting the Somali migration globally.
Abira Hussein will share her ongoing digital archive project at Autograph ABP and a survey of the Somali object collection at the British Museum. Abira is selected to be on the Transforming Archive Traineeship with the National Archives, and will be hosted by the London Metropolitan Archives
The event will conclude with musical performances by Dur Dur Band International.
Dur Dur Band International is a revival band paying homage to the original band made famous in the 1980's. The London based branch consists of lead singer Fadumina Hilowleh and an 11 piece band.