Somalia is often dubbed the “nation of poets”, but now more and more young Somalis are expressing themselves with photos rather than words.
By Ikran Dahir
Last year, British-Somali poet Warsan Shire’s work made it on to Beyoncé’s Lemonade album, sparking a huge interest in poetry and the spoken word. But more and more young, creative Somalis are also moving toward more visual forms such as photography.
The art often draws from their own experiences and diasporas. For example, British-Somali Amina Adan mainly photographs Somali communities in the UK, where she lives. Meanwhile, Canadian-Somali Amaal Nuux’s photography includes pictures she took while volunteering in an orphanage in Uganda and includes stories beyond her own.
These images have amassed thousands of likes on social media, a sign that they clearly resonate for viewers beyond aesthetics. BuzzFeed News talked to five Somali artists about what draws them to photography, how they got their start, and how their work challenges perceptions of Somali life.