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Vintage Somalia: An Instagram Remembering a Land We Rarely See

We love nothing more than discovering a trove of found photos on Instagram. By ‘found photos’ we mean old film camera shots that were snapped in a pre-internet age, stored in an album/drawer/shoebox, only to be discovered at a later date and scanned onto a computer.

The Instagram Vintage Somalia is a perfect example of this method. The account posts photos taken in Somalia prior to the civil war of 1991. This conflict has affixed itself to global perceptions of the nation, meaning many people strictly view Somalia in the context of violence, suffering and instability.

The photos on Vintage Somalia prove that there was once so much more to the East African country than war. We could scan through these pics for ages, because they reveal a world of beautiful architecture, education, music and national pride.

|| Vintage Mogadishu || The Iconic Liido beach (1980’s)

A post shared by Vintage Somalia (@vintage_somalia) on

|| Vintage Mogadishu || Taken near Mogadishu’s beautiful old city and fish market (1987)

A post shared by Vintage Somalia (@vintage_somalia) on

|| Vintage Somalia || Somali women in Baraawe waiting at a bus stop heading to the capital (1982)

A post shared by Vintage Somalia (@vintage_somalia) on

You could argue that these photos are nothing but a reminder of a more peaceful past. While visually pleasing, they simply serve to highlight how things have declined since the civil war. This is true in part, but many of the posts on Vintage Somalia suggest this view is a bit unfair. There is always hope for the future. Check out this pic:

It may just be one photo on one Instagram, but it represents a positive view on the future of the country. A nation’s wounds can take generations to heal, but a population so young would suggest it has an opportunity to heal faster than most.

At the very least, a project like Vintage Somalia does a lot to reframe the image of a misunderstood nation and to tackle ignorance.

Be sure to head on over to Instagram and hit that follow button on vintage_somalia.

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