Architecture, just like any other form of art, is a manifestation of human emotion, culture and traditions. As Somaliland is fast transitioning from the rubbles of war and civil strife, architects have a great opportunity to participate in the reconstruction. Joe Addo, a renowned Ghanaian architect, presented the work of ArchiAfrika Foundation at the fair. He encouraged young architects to utilise local resources and work with local communities in order to integrate ideas that will best define Somaliland.
Addo also recognises the importance of the diaspora in the development of a nation and the role they play in its transformation. He encouraged Africa to connect with her diaspora in order to broaden development prospects. “It is the attachment to a place, sense of being and identity that will transform Africa”, he said.
Continue reading Architecture, literature and the African identity
The festival rose to the third day with exciting discussions on writing, poetry and the guest country Nigeria.
Young women poets and writers opened the stage, sharing their experiences, in a panel looking at spaces for future generations. Hawo Jama Abdi, a poet who was born blind, first composed poetry when her nomadic family accidentally left her behind as a child. Her poem to the wilderness soothed her at a very scary and desolate moment. Nadifa Mohamed, a British novelist of Somaliland heritage, could relate to Hawo’s poem as in her own writing, she addresses a certain absence that is filled through the stories she weaves. In talking about being role models, Yasmin Kahin, a playwright and poet, feels that she and the other young Somaliland women are the first generation of female writers.
Continue reading From Somaliland to Nigeria
Africa’s poet laureate, Professor Niyi Osundare, opened day two of the Hargeysa International Book Fair reading moving and thought-provoking poems titled: I long for open spaces, Airport, Who wants to touch the world and Our Earth will not die. These poems portray the relationship between human existence and space, the significance of space to human emotions, freedom and how they resonate with the work we produce.
Continue reading Poetry, Politics and Possibilities