Mogadishu is a city that exists in the stories of its inhabitants, now displaced in various parts of the world, and only thanks to their memories can it be reconstructed.

Far from Mogadishu 


For many members of the Somali diaspora, the fear of fading memories places a sense of urgency on them to keep these stories of their homeland alive. The great African novelist Ben Okri once said “to poison a nation, poison its stories”. Stories have the ability to harm or heal societies. Oftentimes, it is simply the exclusion from the main narrative that can greatly harm or marginalize a group of people.


For Somalis, this had been the case for over two decades. Their homeland has been portrayed for them by news media as a place of violence, destitution and death. For those who are part of Shirin’s generation, their homeland is far from those news media images. They have countless stories from long days spent at Lido Beach enjoying ice lollies to catching a movie in one of the city’s many open-air theatres. Mogadishu is preserved in their minds and their stories.


Memories of Mogadishu is a multimedia project that examines the use of memory in the reconstruction of a once cosmopolitan city by the Somali diaspora around the world. Through the use of oral history in combination of archival footage and personal interviews of members of the Somali diaspora around the world, the goal of project is to document the collective memory of the pre-civil war city.
The project examines the use of memory in the reconstruction of a once cosmopolitan city by those who have been displaced for the last 28 years.