#OnOurRadar: 6 Somali-British Creatives Who Are Smashing It Right Now
Unless you’ve been living on the Moon for the past few years, you’ll know that there are so many Somali Diasporans who are seriously killing it in the creative game right now. Just look at poet Warsan Shire and her work on Beyoncé’s Lemonade album last year. And it doesn’t get much bigger than Bey. So, to celebrate Black History Month, here’s six of our favourite Somali-Brit trailblazers that are working on some amazingly creative projects right now.
Ok? Ok. Let’s go…
Amina Adnan: Photographer and Videographer
Amina is a London-based photographer and videographer. After discovering that she possessed a passion and drive for “capturing detail that the human eye missed” and “making moments and saving moments”, she turned her hobby into a career. Her key interest is using visual content to tell stories that she has stumbled upon and documenting people’s memories.
Check out some of her stuff here.
Farah Gabdon: Author and Performance Poet
Originally born in Somalia but now living in London, Farah is an English teacher, writer and performance poet. Drawing from her experiences as a diasporan, she weaves delicate tapestries of written and spoken words. Her work bridges the gap between the two worlds she has found herself immersed in so she has created a unique identity that she can call her own. Farah’s poetry is a muddle of juxtapositions; both unembellished and intricate, soft and steely – but always brutally honest and guaranteed to make a mark upon the heart of the reader.
Watch one of her performances here.
Maya Jama: Presenter
Most people know who Maya is. She’s a tele and radio presenter, from Somali-Swedish descent, who has amassed a mammoth following online. Oh, and she’s going out with Stormzy. The 22-year-old Bristolian moved to London as a teenager to pursue her dreams. After launching a successful YouTube channel and landing a gig as a presenter at JumpOff.TV and The Wrap Up, the big boys came knocking and it wasn’t long before she was working for MTV.
Mohamed Mohamud: Somali Sideways
Mohamed Mohamud is the 24-year-old creative legend who founded the viral Somali storytelling machine Somali Sideways. After getting into photography whilst at uni, he launched the platform which features pics of people standing sideways. From humble beginnings, it wasn’t long before it became a viral sensation that was doing an awesome job of tackling some negative stereotypes surrounding the Somali diaspora. When asked by BuzzFeed why all the pictures are taken sideways, he said: “On one side it’s about sharing stories [you] wish to share … and the other side remains a mystery.”
Check out the Somali Sideways Insta here.
After his parents gave him a camera when he was 15 years old, Mabdulle started taking photos of his mates at school. That was the beginning of a long-term love affair with photography, one which has resulted in him gaining over 34,000 online followers. “My favourite pictures are the ones you look at for more than five seconds,” he says. “And you start to raise an eyebrow.” He’s now turned his hobby into a full-time job.
Mabulle’s Insta is something else, click here to see it.
Mohamed Mohamed: Poet, Activist, Blogger
Mohamed Mohamed has been writing poetry since the tender age of 12 and performing his work since he was 18. His stuff has featured on a wide-ranging number of high-profile media outlets – such as Sky News, BBC and British Muslim TV – and he won the coveted Student Leader of the Year award at Exeter Uni. Recently he has been performing and facilitating workshops at British unis such as Oxford, Cambridge and Leeds.
Have a look at Mohamed’s website by clicking here.