Elays Network launches exhibition to celebrate Somali women in the arts

Artwork by Somali women will be featured in an exhibition at Battersea Power Station for two weeks from today.

The exhibition has been organised by the Elays Network, a non-profit group which aims to empower young people from the Wandsworth Somali community.

Khadija Mahamud, 25, will be displaying photographs from her social media campaign entitled Real Men Empower Women.

She said: “Real Men Empower Women is targeted towards engaging and involving men in discussing issues that affect women.

“There tends to be a stigma attached to male involvement when it comes to talking about these topics and having these conversations and with Real Men Empower Women the aim is really to challenge the stigma and the misconception that its limited to a specific gender.”

Khadija has been involved with the Elays Network for ten years and said that she has benefited from their numerous programmes and events aimed to develop young people’s leadership and other life skills.

The exhibition will also showcase work from illustrator Asha Mohamed, 27, and abstract painter Qansa Omar, 23.

Asha will display her pen and ink artwork, some of which depict characters from Somali stories and prayers, in what will be her debut exhibition.

She said: “The pieces are focusing on the highs and lows of emotion and mood in relationship to time.”

The opening night, which will readings and poetry from Somali women, is tonight at 6:00pm.

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