Hassan Nor’s drawings depict a utopian vision showing peace and abundance from his memories of home, Jubbaland, Somalia, growing up in the 1940’s and ‘50’s. He also memorializes the tragedies and struggles that he remembers as well. Drawing on life events including his nomadic life back home, his journey to America and his new life here, his jewel-colored drawings resonate with the captivating voice of his storytelling — fascinating; both urgent and romantic.
I met Adeer (Uncle) Nor in 2013 through his daughter, Farhiyo and her neighbor, Gerry, in Minneapolis. Subsequently, Adeer Nor and I met over several years to collaborate and bring his work to a wider audience. I was honored to bring his work into several public exhibitions -- with the assistance of interpreters, including his daughter and several bi-lingual friends from the community.
The introduction of the drawings of Adeer Nor to Wing Young Huie led to this one-night event to show his work to the public. The evening was in June, 2016; a family affair where Farhiyo generously prepared beautiful and abundant Somali food, and his granddaughter, Aisha, read her poetry.
Also at this event, Somali-Swedish author, Awes Osman, read in English and Somali from his latest novel.
Thanks to Farhiyo, Awes Osman, Halwa Hussein, and Ahmed Ismail Yusuf for their assistance interpreting and their support of Adeer Nor.