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Throwing Open Doors: Somali Culture Translated

Feee Word Centre
60 Farringdon Road

Freedom of expression is fundamental to the flourishing of creativity and literacy. Historically, both in the UK and the Somali regions, individuals and groups have battled to protect this right from encroaching power of the state, conservative groups, and economic and political powers.

This event is the result of a newly established partnership between the Free Word, the Poetry Translation Centre (PTC) and Somali Week Festival will showcase the literary work of Somali artists who have fought for their right to speak, write, think, and perform.

6:00 - 07:30

Nuruddin Farah & Abdisalam Hereri – Book launch and Panel discussion

Nuruddin Farah is a world renowned, prize winning Somali novelist. Writing in English, Farah established his international reputation in 1970 with his first novel From a Crooked Rib, a coming of age story about a young nomad woman escaping an arranged marriage.

Farah lived in self-imposed exile for 22 years after the publication of his second novel A Naked Needle. During a book tour in Europe he was warned that Somali authorities planned to arrest him due to the books content. Since then he has lived and worked away from his homeland as a novelist, playwright and leading figure in Somali Studies. He has said he sees his work as an attempt "to keep my country alive by writing about it".

Abdisalam Hereri is a renowned TV and Radio producer, who has recently translated Nuruddin Farah’s famous novel, From a Crooked Rib, into Somali. This is the first time that Farah’s work is translated into Somali, and Somali Week Festival is proud to celebrate this achievement.

7:30- 9:00

Somali Poets - Reading and Panel Disscussion

Poets Shube and Dheeg will launch their newly published poems, which have been translated into English thanks to our collaboration with the Poetry Translation Centre. They will perform alongside Caasha Lul Mohamad Yusuf and Clare Pollard who has been collaborating for years on translating poems from Somali into English. Other young British based Somali poets will also showcase their work and engage in a discussion about the power of words, and the connections between literacy and freedom of expression.

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