The Native Beauty Of Somalia’s Hand Painted Storefronts


Feisal Omar/Reuters

Many businesses and shopkeepers in Somalia—which is one of the world’s poorest nations—cannot afford luxuries such as backlit signs and vinyl posters to advertise their products and services. They instead rely on local artists to decorate their storefronts. Low literacy rate requires that these hand painted signs be accompanied with visual depictions of the products they sell. Continue reading »

Can Photographs Change The World? Somalia Tragedy Through The Lens Of Jean-Claude Coutausse

Photographs have the capacity to transcend politics, in the times of war, natural disasters and perpetrated crimes. The written and verbal perspectives of media figures and scholars can at times diminish the causalties of victims. One of the below photographs by Jean-Claude Coutausse displays Somali men running the opposite way a United Nations convoy is driving towards and the other photograph depicts a Somali boy protesting “against the presence of foreign troops” with two bloody corpses and a crowd dissembling behind him. As a native of Somalia and as an American, these two photographs represent volumes of irony in politics where causalities can not be ignored. Thus as Jonathan Klein has stated “images have the impact of touching people.”

North Kenya, Liboi. A young Somali refugee crosses a field filled with marabous storks in July 1992:

Although the above photos have changed the world, Operation Restore Hope has traces of obscurity from our U.S. nation’s standpoint as well as my native Somalia. Censorship is a great contributor to this obscurity as Ted Rall put it “Dead and wounded Afghans, Iraqis, Pakistanis, Somalis, Yemenis and Libyans have been expunged from American popular culture as well. Other factors are the 6 corporations which control 90% of the media in America” which “constrict the flow of information”
as Professor Nordell stated. Continue reading »