smiling portrait of Khadijah M

Khadijah M

2021 EARLY-CAREER RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT GRANTEE | $2,500

Studying the Stories of Elder Somali Women

Khadijah will interview several elder Somali women in the Twin Cities about their lives in Somalia. In the nomadic tradition of Somalia, women play a significant role in the family and society. In addition to the caretakers, as builders of the home the families live in, women are the literal architects of society. They first build the round structure using tree branches and they cover the foundation with woven mats. This weaving style comes from the technique that women in Somalia use to weave mats to cover their homes. Using no loom or frame, nomadic women create intricate mats out of grasses, acacia tree fiber, and palm, then carry these mats across vast territories as they move with their herds. Though the homes look similar, no two are exactly the same; each one is personal to that family.

Khadijah will study and examine each elder through stories, manipulatives, models and practice. In addition, she will also study carving techniques from the Women’s woodshop. Both of these elements will eventually allow the artist to present a project highlighting the stories and the different styles of home making.

Khadijah is a visual artist and art organizer based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Her practice is greatly influenced by her commitment to community building. Khadijah uses art as a tool to explore interpersonal and environmental relationships using various mediums including photography, woodworking, sculpture, and installation. Understanding the power of art, Khadijah facilitates opportunities for other Somali artists to optimize their artistic potential. She is the co-founder and director of Soomaal House of Art, a Minnesota-based Somali artists collective. Khadijah holds a BS in Sociology from the University of Minnesota.

Forecast has been offering early-career artist grants supported by Jerome Foundation since 1989. In addition to funding, Forecast is dedicated to providing professional development and learning opportunities designed to assist emerging artists as they experiment/ hone their practices, and cultivate careers in the field. Forecast mid- and early-career grants are designed to support independent projects, leadership development, professional development, risk-taking, multidisciplinary approaches, and collaborative problem-solving in the field of public art.