Are you an aspiring Somali Poet?

Written by admin on February 3rd, 2018

Are you an aspiring Somali Poet? Research the importance of Somali poetry with us and get the opportunity to perform!

Kayd Somali Culture & Arts is excited to announce our new Project: “Somalis: A Nation of Poets”

“Poetry is the vehicle by which Somalis ask the three eternal questions: Where do I come from? Who am I? And where do I go from here? Somali Poetry is not art for art’s sake. In the West poetry is purely aesthetic but in Somali…it is didactic, not purely aesthetic.” Dr Said Samatar

It is hard to overestimate the importance of poetry in Somali culture. According to Somali-born Canadian rapper K’Naan, in the Somali region “everything revolves around [poetry]. Conflict resolution is written in poetry…our laws are. Everything about Somali people, the only way we know how to communicate is poetry.”

In this exciting new project by Kayd Somali Arts & Culture, in collaboration with The Mayor’s Citizen Led Engagement Programme for London, we will research the importance of poetry across generations in our community. We will interrogate our assumptions about the power, survival and relevance of poetry to the community. What role does it play for young people trying to find their voice in this country? Or for older people how does it connect to a positive sense of self and identity? How is used, learnt, passed on? What role does it play privately, domestically, within the family, publicly? How are local forms of poetry influencing expression of younger poets? How could poetry be a viable tool for integration, challenging stereotypes? How to make sure that poets get support they need to thrive?

We are looking for 15 Somali community researchers to interview between 10-15 each about their relationship with poetry using specific questions designed by Kayd. For this, we will pay £25 per interview as well as £10 each in gratuity to those they interview. Through asking a range of questions, in Somali and English, we will make short films to capture people talking about poetry and reciting poetry to camera.

Through this research, we hope to understand the true role of poetry in Somali culture, in London particularly, as well as unearth hidden talent and find the next set of Somali poets who deserve a platform where their voices and ideas can be heard and enjoyed.

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