Weisman exhibit follows Somalis from their native land to the U.S.

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One of the images from the 'Somali Diaspora: A Journey Away' exhibit running at the Weisman Art Museum. The exhibit uses the combined work of photographer Abdi Roble and essays of writer Doug Rutledge to chronicle the lives of Somali immigrants to the U.S.
Photo Courtesy of Abdi Roble

Diaspora, the word almost sounds like what it means. It's from the Greek, for a scattering of seeds, and it's the term used for any population as it spreads beyond its native land. Since the civil war in Somalia in 1991, the Somali Diaspora has spread well beyond the horn of Africa. By some estimates, more than 50,000 Somalis make their homes here in the Twin Cities.

Somali-born photographer Abdi Roble came to the U.S. in 1989. He's made his way around the world as a freelance photographer. Since 2003, he has documented the spread of his compatriots, from a refugee camp in Kenya, to their lives in Minneapolis.

Photographer Abdi Roble
Photographer Abdi Roble talks about his project 'The Somali Diaspora: A Journey Away' showing at the Weisman Art Museum.
MPR Photo/Sam Choo

His work has been published in a book along with essays by writer Doug Rutledge. Now those photos are on display at the U of M's Weisman Museum. That's where All Things Considered caught up with photographer Abdi Roble and spoke with him and writer Doug Rutledge about why the Somali Diaspora project is so important.

Roble's photos are on display at the Weisman Museum on the U of M campus until September 27. The photographer and Rutledge will give a presentation Saturday at 5:30 p.m. at the Weisman.

You can seen an audio slide show narrated by Roble at the State of the Arts blog.

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