Invisible Art celebrates Somali art and culture

Categories: Art, Spoken Word
kaamilhaider4.jpg
Photo courtesy Kaamil Haider
Ka Joog, a Somali community cultural organization, holds its bi-weekly Invisible Art gathering tonight at Augsburg College. Somali poet Abwaan Abdirizak Alibos will be featured as a special guest. The ongoing evening cultivates multiple artistic disciplines while engaging Somali youth, adults, and non-Somali community members, and seeks to honor and preserve Somali culture.

See also:
The Somali Artifact and Cultural Museum opens this weekend


KaamilHaider.jpg
Photo courtesy Kaamil Haider
Abwaan Abdirizak Alibos
The Invisible Art workshop takes place every two weeks, bringing in local and national artists, youth, and people of all ages especially geared toward the Somali community. "We're focusing on Somali oral history and storytelling so they learn about the culture," says spoken-word artist Abdi "Phenomenal" Farah, director of programs and teaching for Ka Joog. 

The Invisible Art program has been going strong for two years. 

This week's guest will be Abdirizak Alibos, a Somali poet and television soccer reporter based in Minneapolis. "He's basically going to be talking about himself and how he got into writing poetry," Farah says. "Somalia is known as a nation of poets. People use poetry to bring people together and advise each other about certain things and create social change." Rather than focusing on Somalia's past, Farah says that Alibos focuses on issues the community faces today. 

The Invisble Art program doesn't just showcase artists. There's also a curriculum behind it that involves talking about the history of different art forms. For example, a musician might visit the group and play guitar, discuss the history of the art form, and teach the audience to play a little. At the same time, the program allows for open-mic time and workshops.
 
kaamilHaider3.jpg
Photo courtesy Kaamil Haider
A variety of folks make up a typical audiences at the Invisible Art event, including Somali youth and adults, as well as college students from around the area. "We try to make it as intimate as possible," Farah says, "so people can actually learn."

Ka Joog, as an organization, uses art as a foundation for working especially with young people through helping to work out identity issues, avoiding gang violence, or prevent someone from falling out of the educational system. "We try to mentor them," Farah says. 

Besides the bi-weekly Invisible Art meetings, Ka Joog also does residencies in schools three months of the year, and last summer worked with 30 boys and 30 girls on a camping trip in partnership with Augsburg College and the Girls Scouts and Boy Scouts. In addition, Farah says that the organization hopes to at some point find their own space to carry out their programs. 

IF YOU GO:

Invisible Art
Featuring Abwaan Abdirizak Alibos
6:30-8:30 p.m. Thursday, December 5
Room 303-305 in the Kennedy Center at Augsburg College
2211 Riverside Ave. S., Minneapolis
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