Mogadishu Then and Now

14.3.2018 - 2.9.2018

Images and Poems of a City

Present-day Somalia has more than 14 million inhabitants. An estimated 1–3 million of them live in the capital Mogadishu, known locally as Xamar. The infrastructure of this lively place of commerce on the Indian Ocean was severely damaged during the civil war, and violence continues to cast a dark shadow over everyday life. But people have not forgotten the glory days of Mogadishu. Reconstruction is in progress and the cityscape is changing rapidly. 

Through photographs and traditional Somali poetry, this exhibition shows the changing fortunes of Mogadishu, from being a colourful harbour town during the Italian colonisation, to the destruction of civil war and, eventually, its emerging new dawn.

The exhibition has been curated by the Helinä Rautavaara Museum together with the Finland-Somalia Association and the Finnish Foundation for Media and Development.

Photo: A street view of Mogadishu in the 1980s. Photo: Pirkko Tanttu

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