Kayd Somali Arts and Culture in collaboration with UCL and UCL Grand Challenges is delighted to host an evening dedicated to Soomaalinimo in the 21st century.
This evening event continues a long tradition of debating Somali affairs at the University of London, bringing some of the most renowned scholars together in conversation with one another, and with lively audiences. This year we are exploring the meaning of Soomaalinimo(Somaliness) and the ways in which it has evolved historically since it first emerged in anti-colonial struggles in the 1940s. Speakers will investigate the multiple and contested political, cultural and social meanings of Soomaalinimo, and reflect on what it means today for younger generations.
Speakers will include: Prof Ali Jimale Ahmed is from Queens College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Prof Jimale is the Chair of Comparative Literature at Queens College, and teaches courses in African, Middle Eastern, and European literature. His books include: The Invention of Somalia(Red Sea Press, 1995);Daybreak Is Near: Literature, Clans, and the Nation-State in Somalia (Red Sea Press, 1996);Fear Is a Cow(Red Sea Press, 2002);and When Donkeys Give Birth to Calves: Totems, Wars, Horizons, Diasporas (Red Sea Press, 2012) and he was one of the first scholars to challenge and deconstruct the politicised narratives around Somali identity and culture and homogeneity.
Nadifa Mohamedis a renowned Somali-British novelist and author of two books, Black Mamba Boy and The Orchard of Lost Souls. She was awarded Granta’s ‘Best of Young British Novelists’ award in 2013, and was nominated for the Guardian First Book Award.
Donia Jamal Adam is a fervent storyteller, curious amateur photographer, human rights advocate and campaigner. She is an ardent proponent of the rights of women, with a strong focus on girls’ empowerment. Her belief in the healing power of storytelling is firmly rooted in her past working experience with refugees –a role which saw her work and travel through many regions globally. She holds a Masters from Yale Univerisity.
Mohammed Shire is an author, blogger, and historian living in the United Kingdom. Born in war-torn Somalia, his family moved to provide a better life for themselves when he was only six years old. He spent his youth in the Netherlands before deciding to pursue his education in the UK where he is working towards a PhD at Loughborough University. Shire is especially interested in Somali history, and runs a blog devoted to exploring the past events of the country.
The evening will close with a concert by Aar Maanta, the voice of the new generation of Somali musicians here in the UK. He will perform with his band. Aar Maanta is a Somali-British singer-songwriter and instrumentalist. He is popular with Somali and non-Somali audiences of all ages as he fuses contemporary music with traditional Somali rhythms to produce an eclectic sound.