Somalia Guerrilla Artists Dare to Paint Reality

Artists reemerge in Somalia

MOGADISHU, Somalia — The guerrilla artists come out in the darkness of the Mogadishu night. Three of them are old hands with a brush, but they’ve never been out on such a crazy mission at a time when sensible people stay indoors.

They gather for work in a converted garage, with a wildly paved floor and clutter of paint pots dribbling gaudy colors. Muhiyidin Sharif Ibrahim, 62, uses an old car seat as a chair, reflectively sharpening a pencil with a razor, then honing it to a perfect point by scraping it on the stone floor. He delicately sketches out his next work on a scrap of cardboard with his long, thin fingers.

“I want to show the people how bad the troubles were,” says artist Muhiyidin Sharif Ibrahim of Mogadishu, Somalia. “That’s the message we’re going to send to people.”

(Robyn Dixon, Los Angeles Times)

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