A Night of Art and Culture in Hargeysa

Trip Start Jan 09, 2010
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United States  ,
Friday, May 14, 2010

Hello everyone! It's been a long while since I last posted a blog. I've been quite busy here in Hargeysa and it has finally paid off. I recently founded the Afrikanation Artists Organization which is designed to empower artists and the community under the belief that art DOES have the power to create positive change in society and throughout the world. We recently held our first event along with Somaliland Culture and Sports Association at Panorama Conference Hall in Hargeysa, Somaliland/Somalia.

It was a celebration! A Celebration of Art and Culture in Hargeysa and the turnout could not have been better.

I recently wrote an article covering the event which can be found at Bartamaha, a Somali news website here http://www.bartamaha.com/?p=26908

or by simply read the article below. This was a celebration of the talent and culture that exists here as well as a kick off for our new organization, Afrikanation Artists Organization.

Thank you and I wish you all the best in your future endeavors.

Nabad iyo Caano,
Ebony Iman Dallas

A Celebration of Art and Culture in Hargeysa

Afrikanation Artists Organization (AAO) and Somaliland Culture and
Sports Association (SOCSA) teamed up to present a “Celebration of Art
and Culture” in Hargeysa, Somaliland/Somalia on April 28th, 2010. This
was a celebration of traditional and recent artistic flavors and for
the foundation of Afrikanation, which is a local non-profit,
non-governmental organization designed to empower African artists and
their communities under the belief that art does have the power to
positively change society and the world.
When you first walked into the Panorama Hall that night, one could
not help but notice the paintings that lined the walls. Thirteen gifted
artists based here in Hargeysa, displayed beautiful images reflecting
traditional and contemporary Somali society. Paintings of camels
walking with grace as they were led across the plains, to those drawing
attention the challenges faced by Somali people, such as migration and
war were on display.
Gazing across this long line of evidence affirming the talent that
exists here, your eyes were then led to a table filled with many tiny
hands busily working to create our artists of our future. Working with
Najma Axmed Xaashi, an artist from Mogadishu, the youth produced some
dynamic pieces with art supplies donated by students at California
College of the Arts and supporters. Afrikanation partnered with Defne
Beyce, a Graduate Design student at California College of the Arts in
San Francisco, California, USA and Ismail Ismail, a great supporter
also residing in California, to organize and deliver these much-needed
art supplies. Art supplies are virtually unobtainable in this region
due to high price and proximity, and it is one of Afrikanation’s
founding goals to make supplies accessible to artists who need them.
Crayons to professional level acrylic paints donated were quickly put
to use in the youth art station and weekly Afrikanation Artist Workshops.
The night officially opened with a Koranic reading and song by Ilyas
Mohamed Omar, a dynamic eight year old, then cultural song and dance by
Somaliland Culture and Sports Association. SOCSA is a local,
non-profit, non-governmental organization that educates the youth on
current economic, social and health related challenges and the
importance of physical education through sport. The dancers lit up the
room dressed in traditional Somali attire as they swirled to the beat
and songs of our ancestors. Seeing the faces of the young people that
filled the crowd lit with excitement brings hope that these traditions
will be passed on for many generations to come.
Following the cultural dance were the break-dancing Groovies. The
Groovies enlivened the audience with their creative storytelling
through dance. This dynamic group of teenage boys and SOCSA together
represent the diversity that exists in our youth today. Hani Abdi Ali
utilizes fashion as a tool to address traditional styles of dress with
a new flair through her new line of dresses that were worn at the event.
Mohamed Bulshaawi and Abdirahim Daalalayn shared their gift of song
with a crowd of excited listneners anxious to hear more. All in all,
this night was a blessed celebration of art, talent and culture that
Allah gifted us with right here at home.
This event would not have been the same without great support of the
community. To Panorama, Lucy University, Defne Beyce, Ismail Ismail,
California College of the Arts, art supply donors, friends of the arts
and certainly not least the artists, musicians, poets, dancers,
designers, supporters and friends shared their gifts and helped during
the celebration, thank you. This sets the stage for many positive
exchanges in the future celebrating our art and our culture with the
community at large.
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Doreen Baingana on

Hi Eidart,
I really like your photos and the work you are doing in Somaliland.
I am a writer from Uganda who plans to travel to Hargeisa at the end of June. It would be lovely if we could talk some more before my trip: I want to know as much as I can before I travel! You can google my book "Tropical Fish" if you want. I hope to hear from you!

Ebony Iman on

Hello Doreen!

I would love to help in any way I can to prepare you for your coming trip! Please email me at eid@eidart.com. I got the chance to read the first few pages of your book on Amazon! It's captivating and now I must prepare my order.

Good luck as you prepare and for your coming trip. Talk to you soon!

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