I adorn artwork, this artwork is much treasured and has been sold well through the Bakaara Market. My artist intends her artwork be for the people and left for the people to see and be inspired, Keinan had other ideas. He took one of my artwork to sell in the Bakaara Market. It sold well, just like my artist’s father’s work, Keinan took more from the streets, my artist did not know he was doing this.
One day my artist took her father’s painting to Bakaara Market to sell. They asked for more by my artist. They did not know they were talking to her but assumed the artist was a boy. There was an innocence in the artwork, they said. People had tried imitating them, they said, but we can tell the difference. There is even a belief Somalia can change in them, they said.
This both annoyed my artist and made her happy. She was annoyed as her works were designed to be left out for everyone to see not be stuck in people’s homes. She was happy to get the recognition her works deserve. This is all very dangerous for her as al-Shabaab thinks artwork is unIslamic, she could be taken away.
I hope she will continue, she provides hope for Somalia and money for her family. Her father and her brother have not returned. Life is hard is Mogadishu without men in the family, life is especially hard with al-Shabaab.
Ed: This book is a powerful voice, it shows the conflict in Mogadishu and by extension, Somalia through the eyes of a young girl. Here is a link where you can buy it (I will receive a small commission with your purchase.)