See My Dunya: central library exhibition shines spotlight on Manchester’s Somali community

  • Photographs, documentary and objects portray live for Somalis in Manchester
  • Focus on Moss Side and large Somali community
  • Organisers aim to show positive side to Somali culture in the city 


See My Dunya is an exhibition being held at Manchester’s Central Library which showcases the rich history of the Somali community in the city.

Tunde Adekoya, who helped manage the exhibition, said: “It’s a document of a community doing what they do and showing that in its truest form.”

The exhibition highlights one of the oldest mosques in Africa, Masjid al-Qiblatayn in the city of Zeyla, built in 624, right through to present day Somalia.

Iconic buildings such as the Arch of Umberto II and the Somali National Museum are exhibited showcasing the glory of the past. In contrast, social unrest and discord is also explored and presented through a timeline.

The exhibition is a fully immersive experience which includes documentary, music and a 3D models of prominent buildings, with all contributors coming from a Somali background.

The Somali Mancunian experience is presented with local people and photographed objects forming part of a visual narrative which tells their story in a natural setting.

Tunde said: “It’s a representation of how they’re building Manchester, how they’re forming Manchester and how they’re part of the narrative of Manchester.”

See My Dunya, Manchester Central Libray, Somali, photographs, Moss Side
Tunde, pictured second from the right, with other members of the team who have put the exhibition together

Individuals have been photographed in the Moss Side area of Manchester in the park, in their homes, cafés and smoking a shisha. The exhibition catches a glimpse of one of the largest Somali communities in the UK.

The reviews have been positive, Tunde said: “The feedback’s been brilliant.”

Dunya is an Arabic world which means world: we see their world through Somali eyes and experience it as they do.

Tunde and his team took about a year to put the exhibition together, building a relationship with the local community leaders.

Tunde said: “I take pride being African, I wanted to push this forward.”

The exhibition concludes on 23 March.