Somalian Strength, Joy and Tears
Saturday afternoon 29th October and a visit to the Barton Hill Settlement, Bristol to photograph an event. An intergenerational audience awaits the stories of women, men, and young people from the local Somalian community. Towards the far side of the hall, a makeshift creche has been established where the children go about the business of play in total disregard of the adult world a matter of feet away.
I hear stories of inspiration, determination, survival, hardship, joy, and love. The young lady who talks about her pride of being British, a Man’s journey from a war-torn land and the struggle of seeking to integrate. I feel privileged to have shared my Saturday afternoon with such a vibrant group of people. The laughter is consuming, the stories intoxicating.
I leave, walk across the road, get in my car and turn the key. The radio sparks to life, “Security forces in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, have ended a night long siege, which had left 23 people dead and more than 30 injured. The attack came 2 weeks after a bombing in the city had left more than 350 dead.” This horrific event is taking place 7500 miles away from where I now sit, as I look across the road and to the building where through the large window I can see people smiling, laughing, the sharing food and children playing. I sit, pause, watch and think.