Table of Contents
~Background and History
~What is Somaliwood?
A diaspora is the spread or scattering of a specific population or race to a different and far-flung place throughout the world. More specifically an African diaspora is the dispersion from Africa with a settlement abroad. In this case that is Columbus, Ohio. It also needs to have a physical or psychological return which would be the creation of the Somaliwood film industry. The return is important because it represents a longing to rejoin family and friends and to redeem Africa. After the civil war broke out in Somalia in 1991 many people fled. The slave trade led to the greatest dispersion of Africans in the Americas. The African diaspora communities of the Americas and Europe have made incredible and important economic, political, cultural, and intellectual contributions to the development of their homelands and also to their world. Somalia is an African country. They consider themselves an artistic country and poetry is number one. They also have plays but the major feature length film making occurs in Somaliwood.
History of Cinema in Somalia:Edit
During the forties and fifties Somali actors collaborated with the Italian producing crews and created fascists films. Following the coup d'etat, this film industry became a monopoly of the government. At first Somalia was part of the group Pan African Federation of Filmmakers. After their independence their government established a film industry. They would produce newsreels on a weekly and monthly basis. The Somali Film Industry was founded in 1975. Somali television in the eighties helped to growth and rebirth of the Somali film industry. After the civil war broke out in Somalia it caused many of their filmmakers to leave the country causing them to be all across the world, some of these people helped form Somaliwood.
What is Somaliwood?Edit
Somaliwood is a Somali-language film industry. It is owned and started by a man named Abdisalam Aato. Somaliwood is located in Columbus Ohio. Columbus has over 45,000 Somali residents. They write the scripts in Somali language which is interesting because even films screened in Somalia were not even in Somalian. One Somaliwood film is Rajo which was released in 2003. On its poster in the background is the skyline of Columbus. "Somali film making is a revolutionary concept," according to Abdisalam Aato, a Somali film director. Somaliwood is centered around the Olol film industry which was started by Aato. In Somaliwood they produce full length feature films along with cartoons and documentaries. They do it all right in Columbus, Ohio. The goals if Somaliwood according to Aato are to help future generations of Somali people what came before and where they came from. He also hopes that he will be able to introduce Somali film making to the rest of the world. He also wants to give people a different view of Somalia which right now is pretty negative. He wants to change and expands people's view of the single story of Somalia.
“Columbus is like the Hollywood of Somalia now because the biggest production studio is here, and that’s us,” he says, clicking around the Olol Films’ website. “So all the famous Somali actors are here in Columbus.”
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