About AAO SOM
Afrikanation Artists Organization (AAO) is a non-profit, non-governmental organization based in Hargeisa, Somaliland/Somalia. AAO was founded in March 2010 on a mission to restore and support past, present and future Somali art culture through arts education, a professional artist network and community outreach.
Past wars in this region have resulted in a catastrophic loss of infrastructure, including the demolition and looting of national museums. This large-scale destruction of cultural artifacts has erased important periods in history, and now threatens the loss of yet another era of artistic contributions.Challenges include
- The loss of pre-war artistic traditions
- The lack of educational opportunities in the arts, especially for girls
- Limited access to basic art supplies
- Limited opportunities for artists to showcase and distribute their work
Arts EducationYouth Art Class - Our classes are dedicated to providing a comfortable learning environment for at-risk youth. A special emphasis is placed on encouraging the participation of female students and instructors.
Professional Artist NetworkAfrikanation International Art Exchange - An artistic collaboration around a selected theme amongst artists of various cultural backgrounds and nationalities. Our latest collaborations supported by Prince Claus Fund, involved Ethiopian and Somali artists. Collaborations involve a combination of art creation, interviews and a community art exhibition. With the support of Prince Claus Fund we created this website to share the collaborations with the world.
Community OutreachCommunity Advocacy Campaigns and Events - Art is a powerful tool to create dialog around current issues. As a team, we give back through community awareness campaigns addressing current health, educational and social challenges. This includes our "Sirta Tahriibta," three day art exhibition. During this event, a forum was held for youth to discuss issues around irregular forms of migration with community elders, representatives from International Organization for Migration and community advocates for human rights. Over 10 artists created artwork under this theme and explained the meanings behind their individual paintings. Films, live plays and music were also shared which addressed the often deadly consequense of migrating irregularly from country to country.
We also create opportunities to share and connect with the local and international community through events including our "Celebration of Art and Culture" held in Hargeisa, Somaliland/Somalia.