EASTLEIGHWOOD

a small hollywood in East Africa!

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Somali Cultural Day

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The Somali Cultural Day is aimed at showcasing
the rich Somali Cultural Heritage and denouncing the negative perception!
Since its formation, Eastleighwood has been working to promoting Somali
Culture through various interventions. Most of the activities of the
organization are tailored towards articulating the historic, economic, and
cultural context of

Somali communities living in Kenya.








Eastleighwood, the dream factory of the Somali diaspora

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EFE - Nairobi
11/11/2016 - 14: 32h

When "Eye in the sky" was filmed two years ago, a US blockbuster on a drone attack against a jihadist cell that was developing in a neighborhood of the Kenyan capital, no one knocked on the doors of Eastleighwood, the Mecca of Somali cinema.
"They recorded in South Africa, and I wonder why not here, they are Hollywood and we Eastleighwood, they should collaborate with us," laments Burhan Iman, director of this organization based in the heart of the Somali neighborhood of Nairobi, Eastleigh.
In the movie screens of this area, the Somalis have stopped appearing as terrorists, pirates or criminals, thanks to the productions with which Iman and a team of young people try to change the image of a people harassed by war, poverty and extremism
"Mistaken", the first feature film by Eastleighwood, is a thriller about a kidnapped Somali who has already successfully screened on the screens of the neighborhood, in Somalia and even in London and Berlin.
The magic is cooked in humble offices where there is barely room for a small recording studio, some wooden planks and a dozen plastic chairs.
A great camel, laureate like the lion of the Metro Goldwyn Mayer, smiles at the students who pass through there to learn to write scripts, handle cameras, interpret and try to change the life that Eastleigh offers them.
The "little Mogadishu", as this neighborhood is known in allusion to the capital of Somalia, is one of the most dangerous and forgotten by the Kenyan authorities, who only walk these streets to conduct police raids.
In 2014, following a wave of attacks by the Somali jihadist group Al Shabab in Nairobi and northern Kenya, the police arrested hundreds of people in this neighborhood for alleged terrorist links. Some never returned.
"Since the attack on the Westgate shopping center and that of the city of Garissa, many people have disappeared, we do not know where they are," explains Iman the director of Eastleighwood, determined to reclaim the legacy of his people.
"It is very difficult to live in Kenya, the police harass us, society does not appreciate our contribution, we are marginalized".
On the streets of Eastleigh the garbage is piled up by the meter, the neighbors survive without sewage or running water, street vendors and merchants fight for an inch of space in one of the biggest markets in East Africa.
"We Somalis are very enterprising, before going to school we will do business," says Iman.
He mentions an elderly woman who travels to China and Dubai to buy containers and employs 30 people, unable to read or write. But lack of education does not usually work well in Eastleigh.
"In a room of four square meters, 10 people live in shifts: five during the day and five at night, many young people live like this, they have no work or education and they will become criminals," the filmmaker predicts.
70% of Eastleigh's young people are unemployed, so they often end up in criminal gangs or doing jihad in Somalia in the ranks of Al Shabab. Eastleighwood was born to avoid it.
"We try to give them a vocational education: photography, journalism, cinema ... So they can look for a job and we feed their talent", he emphasizes.
In the last five years, more than 2,300 people have received this type of training in this NGO dedicated to audiovisual production and training, which in 70% of cases has allowed them to find work.
Some, like Rahma Mohamed Ileye, have made their first steps in the interpretation, in his case in "Arawelo", which rescues the legend of a Somali queen in a historical drama, one of the favorite themes of the producers along with the love stories or the Somali culture.
This 20-year-old loves to act to live other lives, but not only because of that: "I have a Greek friend who does not want to come to Eastleigh, she thinks that if she comes they will kill her. I want to teach them that it's not true. "



Meet these young Somalis in the diaspora who are exhibiting their culture through art

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Wednesday August 22, 2018
 It is always exciting to find laudable causes that are geared toward connecting Africa to the diaspora.
Next month will witness one of such events, as top performing Somali artists in the diaspora are set to converge in Minnesota for the third edition of the annual Aragti Wadaag art exhibition organized by Somaal House of Art.
Exhibitions by the Minnesota-based art collective brings together artists that are connected by kinship and fellowship through the arts, allowing them to dialogue with each other and around cultural discourse within their respective fields.

Five Somali artists based in Europe and the U..S are set to exhibit their pieces in this year’s exhibition expected to take place on September 8, 2018, at Somaal house, Minnesota.
These young Somali artists will participate in the exhibition which will show the best of Somalia to the world.
1.      Amani M. is an independent multidisciplinary designer and concept artist based in the UK. She alternates between photo illustration and art commissions while producing uniquely designed projects for her own brand known as “492”

Read a full story here:https://face2faceafrica.com/article/meet-these-young-somalis-in-the-diaspora-who-are-exhibiting-their-culture-through-ar

Youth For Peace Project

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Youth For Peace Project is a program sponsored by Us Embassy Nairobi (US) in Partnership with Eastleighwood  to Counter Extremism Violence and rapid youth radicalization in Kenyan Somali Populated Communities. It entailed Monthly Peace Forums, Monthly Newsletter publication and Weekly Youth Camping Radio Show Program. The YFP project was implemented   in Eastleigh Community for Sixteen (16) Months between 2013 and 2015, and reached at least 300 youths every Month with peace forums and peace message packages to reduce high reported cases of youth violence and explosions in the area. It is a source of currently implemented weekly youth dialogue

From Entrepreneur to Impresario

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Entrepreneurship
While commerce in basic commodities is the lifeblood estate, entrepreneurship has expanded in many other directions thanks to foundation pictured here.Burhan to the left of this photo taken in Nairobi city centre- is representative of such entrepreneurship, having worked in a Forex bureau, established cyber cafĂ©, founded advertising agency for Eastleigh Business and inaugurated a magazine featuring stories of interesting to the Somali Diaspora. He is now working on a project entitled ‘ Eastleighwood’ a media production and  ‘youth empowerment initiative.

















Eastleighwood
With Eastleighwood, Burhan has moved from entrepreneurship to impresario, promoting youth talents that exist among Somali and non Somali youth in Eastleigh. This talents is now showcased on Somali cable tv channels, uploaded on YouTube, and Facebook, and digested by Somalis throughout the world. Eastleigh is not just a place of business. It is where Somalis come from all parts of the world, and so a place Somali entertainment is desired. Music- Somali, Kenyan, and Ethiopian can be heard everywhere on the streets. It is played live at weddings heard in Eastleigh’s plusher hotels and ever at miraa chewing sessions. While Eastleigh is enriched by many other influences Somali culture naturally predominates, as other Somali aspects of life has grown upon the economic foundation of the estate.

Source: Global Sociology:https://www.macmillanihe.com/companion/Cohen-And-Kennedy-Global-Sociology/student-zone/Photo-essay-Nairobi/


Express Yourself: Changing Perceptions Through Art

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A South African singer, an Indonesian photographer and a Somali filmmaker use their talents to challenge the status quo.
03 Apr 2018 07:29 GMT Arts & CultureAsia PacificAfricaSouth AfricaIndonesia


They are Wicked
South African musician Fiesta Black is fed up with corruption. She releases a track with an unflattering message about the elites who have gotten rich at the expense of others: They are wicked. 
https://www.aljazeera.com/mritems/imagecache/mbdresplarge/mritems/Images/2018/4/2/16d6bd43a16447a2ad29358093d9fc4d_18.jpg
Fiesta Black hopes her music will inspire South Africans to fight back against corruption [Screengrab/Al Jazeera]
"Corruption is destroying everything. It's destroying the country as a whole. People have lost hope. They just don't feel there can be change." 
Follow her journey as she urges millions of South Africans to stop paying bribes and fight back. 
"I want to remind them that it's either we do something about it or just leave it to get worse than it already is. I think music is the best way to do it. It's a powerful tool."
Indonesia's Unlikely Shutterbug
Twenty-four-year-old Dzoel has no hands or legs, but he doesn't let that get in the way of his photography.
"It's ridiculous when people see me as disabled. I have my own way of doing things."

In a vehicle he designed himself, he cruises around Banyuwangi, photographing engagements and weddings and teaching photography classes.
"In the beginning, it started as a hobby. The slowly, people started using my service. Nobody had the slightest idea that I would go this far."
Eastleighwood
Hollywood, Bollywood and now ... Eastleighwood. Iman Burhan and a collective of young Somali filmmakers in Eastleigh, a neighbourhood in Nairobi, are tackling the question of how to correct negative perceptions about their culture head-on.
"In Western media, whenever they cover Somalia, they usually cover war. [For] Somalis, there was a positive story to tell. We felt that we needed to communicate to the world." 
https://www.aljazeera.com/mritems/imagecache/mbdresplarge/mritems/Images/2018/4/2/88a1af3d90934c4288dad7d7214e6c3c_18.jpg
Through the collective, Iman mentors young people to become role models in their community [Screengrab/Al Jazeera]
The group are taking on the roles of writers, directors and actors to make their first feature-length film using only one camera, hoping it will change perceptions of Somalis in a neighbourhood blighted by attacks blamed on al-Shabab.



Source: Al Jazeera

Partnership

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Eastleighwood Youth Forum is a media based and youth led organization that is based in Nairobi’s Eastleigh estate. Eatleighwood Youth Forum was started 2011 after the Kenya defense forces went into Somalia and Eastleigh, its population and businesses were under propaganda attack that was formulated by the media.
This organization was started to tell our perspective of the story, the story of the Somali Kenyans and Eastleigh story and fight the propaganda that it is the Somalia population in the country that was behind the terror activities that were being witnessed for the first time. We also fearlessly countered the propaganda that Eastleigh’s booming business was benefiting from piracy money from Somalia.
Eastleighwood Youth Forum has always been in the forefront in fighting for the good name of Eastleigh and ensuring that there was security and peaceful coexistence between Somalis and non Somalis.
We did this by engaging the youth and training, entertaining and making them do meaningful things in life than engage in crime or fall for the terror call. We also do forums where we bring Somalis and non Somalis together so that we understand and accommodate each other as neighbors and fellow citizens.
The intolerance and inter tribal and inter religious clashes we use to witness in Eastleigh in the past are now things of the past. EYF’s efforts bared the fruits of flourishing businesses and peaceful coexistence we see today.
EYF is seeking to partner with the Eastleigh Business Community in selling Eastleigh as a business hub and peaceful estate so as to counter the negative image the mainstream media portrays about it. EYF will do media advocacy and will produce a monthly 2 to 5 minutes documentary series that sell Eastleigh like the Dubai of today.
We will also use our Eastleigh News magazine in showing what people can get where when they come for shopping in Eastleigh. We will give coverage to malls that are registered with you and show what they sell and how competitive they are in their businesses.
We will lastly give special coverage to Eastleigh Business Community’s events so as show that you stand for the people and business of Eastleigh and you are committed to serve their interest first. Through our 9,000 proactive youth network, we will show the world that Eastleigh is where they can get all they want and Eatleigh is the home of peace and beauty.