Minneapolis Somali-American Community Inside Out Project Group Action July 2017

In July 2017, Orion Associates and Headwaters Relief Organization created a local art installation, showcasing people from the Minneapolis Somali-American community, their personalities, sacrifices, creativity, hard work, and patriotism. Inspired by the global Inside Out Project, the installation featured 100 large format portraits temporally affixed on a three-story building in downtown Minneapolis. With the goal of breaking down barriers and bringing light to the diversity of our Somali community, the largest in the United States, the Minneapolis Somali-American Community Inside Out Project Group Action made a bold public statement about our community and our country, in the hope that those who saw it would gain a new understanding of the Somali-American identity. These stories were not framed through the lens of political news or immigration discussions; instead, they were personal and intimate portraits that highlighted our shared humanity.

The Inside Out Project was on display on a building in the North Loop in downtown Minneapolis at 133 1st Avenue North. Inspired by large‐format street “pastings”, the Inside Out Project Minneapolis Somali-American Community gave those involved the opportunity to share their portrait and make a statement about Somali- American people and their commitment to our community and our Country. Inside Out is a large-scale participatory art project that transforms messages of personal identity into pieces of artistic work. Everyone is challenged to use black and white photographic portraits to discover, reveal and share the untold stories and images of people around the world. These digitally uploaded images are made into posters and sent back to the project’s co-creators, for them to exhibit in their own communities. These exhibitions were documented, archived and are made available on-line. Over 260,000 people have participated in 129 countries. The Inside Out Project has displays from Ecuador to Nepal, Mexico to Palestine, inspiring group action on themes such as hope, diversity and climate change.

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