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 ofSoomaalinimo, 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.
Mohammed Ibrahim 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.
ArtReach is thrilled to announce Aar Maanta and his mulitnational band The Urban Nomads will be headlining Journeys Festival on Sunday 21st August. Journeys festival, a two day, multi art-form event in the heart of Leicester City Centre. A free event for all the family to enjoy the exciting talents of immigrant artists coming to the UK.
Bank Holiday Monday 30th May 2016 (12 – 12am)
A day filled with comedy, music, film, poetry and literature by some of the UK’s best Somali talent and more!
Hosted by Baar Hersi and Muna Osman
Journalism and news graduate, an ambassador for Restless Development youth day 2015 and founder of Takow Network. Ladan Takow will be doing a presentation on the benefits of volunteering and activism.
Unique poet Aaden Muuse Haybe, who delivers poems about serious Diaspora issues in his own humorous Som-English style. Aadan will perform some of his most popular Somali English mix poems.
Award winning filmmaker described as “…a walking, talking bag of positive energy” by The Daily Telegraph. Mo Ali will be sharing his journey to becoming a successful UK Somali director.
Singer, songwriter and the Voice UK 2014 quarter finalist, Autumn Sharif will be performing new songs from her upcoming EP with her band.
Award winning British-Somali writer and author of ‘Black Mamba Boy’, Nadifa Mohamed will be reading a chapter of her latest novel, ‘The Orchard of Lost Souls’ followed by a question and answer session.
Following his successful Australia tour, the UK’s only stand-up comedian of Somali origin Prince Abdi is back with charismatic style, bringing a unique blend of outstandingly witty stories and jokes.
Playwright, whose work includes ‘Struggle’ and ‘Stripped Black’, Firdos Ali will be performing her one-woman play, ‘How I Feel’, a piece about a young woman who shares Somali tea and secrets with unexpected visitors.
Singer, songwriter who has embraced an electric mix of styles with influences from rock and reggae jostling with traditional Somali music, Aar Maanta will be performing new songs from his upcoming album with his band The urban Nomads.
From Somalia to Nepal to the Caribbean | 3 nights of music and food at the Tramshed
Pupils from Plumcroft Primary School will be performing a specially selected song with Aar and his band.
Lyrically Aar Maanta’s songs are written in the traditional Somali poetic form using allegory and alliteration to address issues of relevance to Somali immigrants. As a result, Ahmed ‘Hudeydi’ Ismail Hussein, a master oud player and one of Somali music’s greatest composers as well as Hassan Aadan Samatar, an iconic lead singer of Somalia’s now defunct national theatre Waaberi, have endorsed Aar’s music as the bridge that links the old musical generation to the new one.
Aar Maanta’s growing appreciation for live music and the lack of it in the industry, led him to form his The Urban Nomads. A multinational and multi-talented collective which consist of Italian bass player Ruth Goller, British/Caribbean saxophonist and keyboard player Josh, French guitarist and sound engineer Thibaut Remy, and Nepalese/Scottish drummer Pharoah Smeaton Russell. Each member of the band brings a unique musical knowledge and background experience to the mix to create a distinct sound that reflects the diversity of Aar’s musical influences.
Saidi Kanda is a traditionally based and award winning Tanzanian multi instrumentalist. He learned his craft at the side of his “griot” grandfather. A former member of Remmy Ongala’s Super Matimila, Kanda was awarded WOMAD’s percussionist of the year in 1989 and he helped found the UK’s Orchestra Baboma. Now resident of the UK he is a regular member of Dadi Krama and Ubizo (with Alan Skidmore) as well as working as a solo artist. Saidi appears regularly with the London-based Congolese band Zong Zing Allstars.
Aar Maanta is described by young Somalis in the UK as “the voice of our generation” because his songs discuss a range of issues of interest to Somali immigrants. His vocals have been touted as “almost Middle Eastern in feel,” with a broad singing range and laidback delivery. A multi-instrumentalist, he plays the keyboard and oud, the latter of which is a staple of traditional Somali, Arabic and North African music.
Muntu Valdo, (b. 1977), is a Jazz guitarist, harmonica player and singer from Doula, Cameroon. He has performed on-stage with Ali Farka Toure, Manu Dibango, Richard Bona, Lokua Kanza, Eko Roosevelt, Lionel & Stephane Belmondo, Keziah Jones, and Alpha Blondy, and has played at Womad music festivals.
Joyful Noise Presents: 13th Annual London African Music Festival. Ft Aar Maanta & his multinational collective The Urban Nomads.
“A textbook example of what makes the Cedar special occurred again Saturday when Somali singer Aar Maanta returned to the worldly Minneapolis West Bank venue. The London-based singer packed the room with many Somali residents from the neighborhood, plus students from nearby colleges and hippies from the Cedar’s past — all of whom danced along excitedly to his jagged grooves. “I’m surprised to see so many non-Somalis,” Aar Maanta said at one point. “There’s been a revival in Somali music, you can see it here at the Cedar.” Great, now how about of the stuff? – Chris Riemenschneider, startribune.com, Minneapolis, USA. 2015.