By: Yusuf M Hasan
Somalilandsun- Living Arts in Post-Conflict Contexts Forum: Practices, Partnerships, Possibilities was a three-day Forum of thought-provoking sessions and inspiring peer-to-peer dialogues for a selected group of creative actors in the fields of cultural renewal and development, youth resilience, and social innovation.
Forty- five delegates from 24 countries were invited to Phnom Penh by Cambodian Living Arts (CLA) among them was Somaliland represented by Dr Jama Muse Jama who joined the hosted delegates from a spectrum of cultures, nationalities, and conflict contexts, in sharing a variety of stories, backgrounds, and unique personal experiences as Storytelling became an important theme for the delegates throughout the three days..
During the Collective Narratives and the Question of Conflict Dr. Jama Musse Jama of the Hargeisa cultural center gave a case study that demonstrated the role of art and culture in building positive narratives in conflict -affected societies, focusing on the transformation of negative and misconstrued understandings of Somaliland through the promotion of art, culture, and literacy initiatives such as the Hargeysa International Book Fair.
Musse Jama illustrated the power of culture to positively in influence the narrative of Somaliland, so often dominated by misguided perceptions of the Somali region as a place endemic of instability, terrorism, and war. In this way, the Forum highlighted the contribution that arts and culture can make to telling new stories and developing fresh perspectives on places that have been affected by conflict.
The segment on Somaliland is on page 17 of the 48 pages forum report that details the Cambodian meet as having been a unique opportunity to bring international attention to the role of the arts as a unifying and peacebuilding factor, and to the conditions under which artists live and work in conflict and post-conflict contexts.
To read the Forum Report, detailing the sessions, findings, and conclusions, please Click Here.
To read the Statement from the LAIPCC Forum 2016, click here.