Somali Sideways: In conversation with Author, Mohamed Mohamud

Friday 20th October

Join Nadia Khan as she interviews Mohamed Mohamud about his book ‘Somali Sideways: A Photobook in Changing Perceptions of the Somalis’


This Black History Month event is hosted by Brent Libraries in partnership with Golden Threads.

Somali sideways is a book and ground-breaking creative project created by a Somali for Somalis. It shares powerful, sad, funny and hopeful stories of Somalis in the UK and across the world. The Somalis featured in this book are doing amazing things, and their stories showcase a talented, inspiring and dynamic community. The book covers issues as complex and diverse as immigration and identity, but also deals in the normal flow of everyday lives.

Mohamed Mohamud said: “Why is most of the news coverage on the Somali region about terrorism, famine and piracy? There wasn’t enough coverage showing Somalis in a positive light, so I thought it was vital to do something about it. There was a problem though as I didn’t know how. In the beginning I thought of using photography as a way of portraying Somalis in an artistic way and illustrating their lives on a platform. This is when the idea of Somalis standing sideways came to light”.

About Mohamed Mohamud

Mohamed Mohamud is the Author and founder of the Somali Sideways: A Photobook and cultural creative platform. He has an MSc in Politics of Conflict, Rights and Justice at SOAS, University of London.

Somali Sideways began as a photo project that is looking to focus on re-positioning perceptions of Somalis in the diaspora. He believes that marginalised groups are portrayed with negative connotations and that projects such as this will change the misconceptions on how the world views the Somali region.

Mohamed has travelled to more than 23 countries participating in speaking engagements, panel discussions, book events and signings. As well as ‘Somali Sideways: Photobook in Changing the Perceptions of the Somalis’, he has also written Somali Sideways Araweelo Edition and Somali Sideways: Women Stories. He received a Society of Authors grant which supports authors from across the UK and a British Council grant collaborating with Chinese curators living in Shenzhen, China.

About Nadia Khan

Nadia Khan is a writer, historian and PR professional. In 2020, she founded Golden Threads, a project to explore and document shared histories across the Muslim world and beyond. Dance Histories is Nadia Khan’s first book, exploring Muslim dance cultures along the Silk Road through the lens of history, storytelling and personal accounts. Dance Histories will be published in Autumn 2023.