Black South West Network, in collaboration with Kayd Somali Arts & Culture and its partners, was proud to present the Bristol Festival of Somali Culture 2016. This year’s festival ran from Wednesday 26th October to Saturday 29th October at M Shed, Princes Wharf, Wapping Road, Bristol, BS1 4RN and at various other venues across Bristol.
The Bristol Festival of Somali Culture offered the best of Somali arts & culture with a mix of events including poetry, literature, panel discussions, documentary film screenings and music. This was a unique opportunity to experience some of the finest international, national, and local Somali talent.
The festival was part of a wider Black South West Network project exploring how Somali identity and culture have developed in Bristol over the last 25 years. This Heritage Lottery & Arts Council Fund supported project culminated in a year long exhibition of Somali culture at the MShed that was be launched by this festival.
This exhibition, featuring audio exhibits collected from a series of interviews with members of the Somali community in Bristol, sought to introduce many new audiences to the richness of Somali culture, break down stereotypes and barriers, and engender a sense of understanding across all communities.
The Festival itself brought together a mix of artists, young and old, who used a variety of mediums to explore the themes of identity, heritage, and belonging in the context of a multi-ethnic city in a globalized world. We were delighted to be able to present key figures of Somali literature from Bristol and some of the most renowned scholars in conversation with one another, as well as some of the groundbreaking and innovative young writers, bloggers, and artists who are moving Somali heritage and identity into new realms of expression.