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Bethnal Green’s Somali festival helps displaced community find its feet in east London

PUBLISHED: 17:48 23 October 2017

Somali artist Elmi Ali talks about

Somali artist Elmi Ali talks about "coming here, being Here" at a Somali project history launch at Bethnal Green's Rich Mix centre in September. Picture: Kois Miah

Kois Miah

A Somali festival opens this-evening in east London in a project aimed at helping a displaced community facing challenges in resettling.

Tower Hamlets Cllr Amina Ali launching East End's Somali East End history project last month. Picture: Kois MiahTower Hamlets Cllr Amina Ali launching East End's Somali East End history project last month. Picture: Kois Miah

The festival at Bethnal Green’s Oxford House centre, with its “home and displacement” themes, is part the arts and archive project being funded by Tower Hamlets council until February to show the community’s presence in the East End.

It is the brainchild of a Somali ‘task force’ set up by the town hall last year to help the families who the council says are “facing challenges” in education, community safety and finding work.

“The East End has a long history of Somali migration and settlement,” Cllr Amina Ali said. “This project captures their experiences through film, photography and digital mapping to create a legacy for generations to come.”

The festival running until Sunday includes workshops, storytelling, education activities in schools and history walks, with film and photography being used to record the experiences and journeys.

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