The 13th anniversary of Somali Week Festival has just concluded in London, with a series of cultural events, poetry, literature and music.
The annual festival is organised by Kayd Somali Arts and Culture, a UK-based artistic organisation that promotes Somali culture and diversity through arts. Kayd Somali Arts and Culture, oo ah hay’ad faneed oo fadhigeedu yahay dalka UK, taasoo sare u qaada dhaqanka iyo kala duwanaanshaha Soomaalida ee dhanka fanka.
“Kayd is immensely excited and proud to present this festival as we begin to emerge from the pandemic to share Somali arts, literature and culture as a community and with the wider society,” said Hanna Ali, Artistic Director of Kayd in a statement. “We will celebrate our living legends, pay homage to those no longer with us and look forward towards the future of Somali studies, culture and arts.”
The festival was held over the last six days of October through events in different locations including The British Library, SOAS University and Oxford House in East London.
In her opening speech, Ayan Mohamoud, Founder and Managing Director of Kayd, paid tribute to some of the leading Somali artists like Ahmed Ismail Hussein Hudeidi – considered one of the founding fathers of modern Somali music – who died of Coronavirus last year.
“This year’s theme is ‘Inspired by the Past, Inspiring the Future’, we are going to look back at our great poets and historical figures [who have contributed] to Somali arts and literature,” she said. “But also we are going to look forward and we are going to be inspired by people like Nadifa Mohamed – whose latest book, The Fortune Men, was shortlisted for the Booker Prize.”
This year’s guests and literary scholars came from as far as Canada, Somalia, the US and Europe. Poetry and book launches are key components of the annual festival and one of the highly anticipated books that were launched at the festival buuga cusub was a new book by Mohamed Ibrahim Hadrawi, who is considered by many to be the “greatest living Somali poet”. abwaanka Soomaaliyeed ee ugu caansan ee hadda nool.
Young and upcoming poets such as Ibrahim Hersi, whose poetry is featured on Hoyga Maansada, also performed at the opening event. Hoyga Maansada.
Hoyga Maansada, the Home of Somali Poetry, hosts a comprehensive archive of some of the finest Somali poetry to keep Somalia’s cultural inheritance safe and allow newer poets like Hersi to showcase their talent to a wider readership and listenership.
To find out more about the Home of Somali Poetry and the 2021 Somali Poetry Awards, visit the website or follow us on social media: Twitter: @hoygamaansada, Facebook: @hoygamaansada, Instagram: @hoygamaansada, YouTube: https://tinyurl.com/yxfrcnsk https://tinyurl.com/yxfrcnsk