Playable City Sandbox: House of Weaving Songs

House of Weaving Songs by dhanqan collective (photo credit Luke O'Donovan)

Inspired by the Somali-style nomadic structure called the Aqal, dhaqan collective has co-created this interactive installation with Somali communities in Bristol and beyond, integrating Somali weaving songs and woven tapestries in an experiment to connect the city to cultural practices that can inspire us in our fight to tackle climate change.  

Woven tapestries hanging off a steel frame.

dhaqan collective invites guests to step inside the House of Weaving Songs, a domed steel structure inspired by the Aqal, a nomadic Somali home. Once inside, become enveloped by a series of beautiful woven tapestries that when touched ignite a sonic patchwork of stories and sounds of Somali women’s traditional weaving songs. Offering the space as a sanctuary  to reflect on the significance of Somali culture and our collective climate anxieties, dhaqan collective  will also invite visitors to add their own voice, connecting the city to endangered ancestral cultural practices.

House of Weaving Songs showcase took place 7 – 9 July 2023 at Trinity Community Garden.

House of Weaving Songs by dhaqan collective

The Team

House of Weaving Songs is created by dhaqan collective, a feminist art collective of Somali women, centering the voices of womxn and elders in our community, and privileging co-creation and collaboration. dhaqan collective is led by Fozia Ismail and Ayan Cilmi. Our practice asks and seeks to find ways of building imaginative futures that support Somali people in the UK and in East Africa to resist the threats over our cultural heritage.