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.
|| Somali Nomads || The Somali nomad is a truly remarkable figure. He is without doubt a dignified and prideful man. He is treated with honor wherever he goes as he resembles the purest form of our heritage. The nomads of our nation will forever have a special place within the annals of Somali history.
|| Somali Students || Students attending the renowned Lafoole Univeristy. The university had 13 majors programs, all centered around education. Those who would graduate from this university were poised to become teachers or professors. At its height, there were roughly 1,300 students attending this prestigious institute of learning (1984).
|| Bankiga Ganacsiga Somalia || Zahra A. Gas (Second from the left) alongside her colleagues at the Commercial Bank of Somalia, Mogadishu Branch (1970) Zahra was a banker for more than 20 years. Her dedication allowed for the bank to grow and prosper up until it’s closure during the onset of the civil war. Photo Credits: Iman Said Isak
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:
|| Somali Education || “Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” – Malcolm X 70 percent of Somalia’s 14 million people are under the age of 30. The future of Somalia is growing up today. We need to make sure they are properly equipped to lead the country out of this slump and into everlasting prosperity. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ The older generation has proven to be unreliable. Our generation has the opportunity and we must therefore lobby the government to invest more into education, particulalrly the education of girls as they empower entire nations. Photo Credits : @mogadishuimages
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.