Asmaa Jama is a Somali artist, poet (shortlisted for Brunel African Poetry Prize, shortlisted for the Wasafiri Writing Prize +
longlisted in the National Poetry Competition) and filmmaker. Gouled Abdishakour Ahmed is an Addis Ababa-based Somali visual artist, stylist, costume designer and writer.
The Season of Burning Things is a profound collaborative moving image piece between these two artists, delving into the creators’ perspectives within the Somali diaspora and engaging with the theme of impermanence.. The concept derives from East African mythos and Islamic imagery to explore mythmaking, Blackness, a ‘generation of ghosts’ and the transient spirit. The Season of Burning Things explores the idea of the movement of migration through porous borders between countries and between various realms. The concept of people passing through is fleeting and evocative, through the mediums of archival footage, experimental sound and familial interviews.
Asmaa Jama “In our collaboration, we spoke about what it means to be Somali + displaced, or from a place that has been split into five, I think this is where a lot of the textures in the piece stem from. The music was found in the archives, and has this static like texture, that really influenced the sound of the piece. I find the texture of cassettes/vhs tapes really interesting, especially when they glitch + pixels start to leak. In our work, we used the sea/ water imagery to think about migration + movement + borrow from surreal imagery. In the piece, we're interested in myths around the sea, people changing in the water + becoming new beings. Thinking a lot about jinn too, as a metaphor for marginalized people. Figures that are almost ghost-like, that end up caught between worlds / realms.”
Cinematographer + Editing : @g.balcha, @mazaproductions /