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East End ready for Somali Festival at Bethnal Green’s Oxford House centre

PUBLISHED: 12:59 13 October 2014 | UPDATED: 12:59 13 October 2014

A Somali festival week kicks off in London’s East End on October 17 as part of Tower Hamlets council’s Black History Month.

It is being launched at Bethnal Green’s Oxford House centre in Derbyshire Street with poetry readings, book launches, panel discussions, documentary film screenings, music and theatre.

“The theme this year is the imagination,” the council’s Cabinet member for culture, Shafiqul Haque, said. “The festival explores how our creative capacities enable new ways of engaging in the world.”

The imagination has been vital to the ways in which Somalis have responded to their dispersal from their troubled homelands in search for a safe haven abroad.

The launch at 6pm features academics and artists relating their personal and collective struggles and future hopes and aspirations.

The highlight for children is Creative Play on October 18 at 3pm for ages five to 10 with storyteller Saynab Dahir, as well as clowns, arts and crafts and face painting.

Evening entertainment includes comedy on October 19 at 6m featuring Prince Abdi, Soran and Jowan with music by Fiska and Yasmin, Djibouti Special on October 20 at 8pm with writer and poet Abdullah Haji and singer Amina Farah, and Music Night on October 24 at 6pm with singers Amina Farah, Maryam Mursal, Ikran Arale and Farhia Fiska with musicians Hussein and Hudaydi.

The Somali Festival runs until October 26.

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