Somali Soiree

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This year's Bristol Somali Festival is almost upon us with some big events for all to get stuck into...

The Bristol Somali Festival — a sister to London’s week-long gala curated by Ayan Mahamoud — is back once again to celebrate the city’s Somali community. This year’s focus is on ideas of identity, belonging and the role of culture, especially within the Somali diaspora. The two-day festival has something for everyone, with informative talks, insightful panels, workshops, arts and crafts and much, much more for families of all ages to get involved with.

Bristol’s Somali community is one of the biggest in the UK (after the likes of far bigger cities, such as London and Birmingham), and this year the festival is in partnership with the likes of the M Shed to give the fest a big platform and main venue.

The main launch event takes place on 27 October at the M Shed with a keynote speech by Osman Mohamed Ali, the founder of the first Somali museum in Minnesota, the first of its kind beyond Somalia’s borders. There will also be a panel discussion chaired by Dr. Idil Osman (Senior Lecturer at the SOAS) featuring the likes of author/critic Artan Mohamed, Abira Hussein of the Transforming Archive, and social worker and community activist Zahra Kosar. Xasan Daahir Ismaaciil Weedhsame, one of Somalia’s most impressive poets, will be performing on the night as well!

The second day of the festival is split across two sites: the M Shed and Barton Hill Settlement on Ducie Road. At the former there’s a family fun day that’s perfect for everyone, with activities, shops and stalls, an exhibition of cultural artefacts, a traditional kitchen and spice-blending workshop and much more. It’s a free day out and requires no booking, so pop along and celebrate Somali culture in a fun, friendly and fascinating environment! 

At Barton Hill, Bristol Somali Festival 2017 hosts performances from local Somali actors, who bring stories of local families to life. Gathered during August and September of this year, the stories come from all ages and cover topics such as adjusting to life in the UK. Titled Bristol Somalis Talk Frankly Across The Generations, the free event will provide a “poignant” finale to the festival.
A buffet will be provided.

When: 27–28 October

Where: M Shed and Barton Hill Settlement 

Website: www.facebook.com/BristolSomaliFestival  

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