At the end of July, we opened a new exhibit in one of our temporary galleries. The Youth//Dhallinyarada is a photography exhibition by Mohamed Mumin featuring the stories and photographs of 13 Somali American men living in Minneapolis. The goal of the exhibit is to highlight Somali men who are positively engaged in their community and to counteract the common negative stereotypes of Somali immigrants. Each man featured in the exhibit is given the opportunity to tell his story about coming to the United States, trying to balance his Somali and American identities, and how he is now working to help his community.
The exhibit focuses on the larger-than-life photographs of each man. These images are striking, not only for their size, but also in their ability to draw the viewer in – these are not images at which you can glance and move on. Particularly striking are the eyes, which feature a halo of light that give the images an almost otherworldly quality. Mumin created the halo effect with a self-constructed ring of light bulbs that shone on the subjects as they were photographed. He shared a photograph of the process with us on Twitter:
The exhibit also features a video compilation of interviews with each man as well as a booklet containing their photographs and stories that visitors can take home. We hope visitors enjoy this multimedia exhibit and that they learn about the Somali American community and the challenges faced by its members.
Mumin will be at the museum in September for two events surrounding the exhibit. On September, the AANM is hosting a UNITY Town Hall forum with UNITY: Journalists for Diversity, Take on Hate, ADC-Michigan and CAIR to discuss issues of Arab American representation in the media. The event will also feature a gallery stroll and talk about the exhibit. On September 12, Mumin will be putting on a youth photography workshop for ages 15-21. To learn more about these events or how to visit the exhibit, see the museum website.