Soomal House of Art: Transmigrating Cassettes Workshop Saturday, September 9, 2-5:30 p.m.

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Transmigrating Cassettes
Saturday, September 9, 2 – 5:30 PM

Pillsbury Hall
University of Minnesota
310 Pillsbury Dr. SE,
Minneapolis, MN 55455


Organized as part of the public programme for the inaugural 2023-2024 Soomaal House Archive Fellowship.

‘Tacabbir’ is a Somali nautical term referring to crossers of the sea. It is composed of the Somali word ta’ab (effort/work) and Arabic abara (to cross over).

Following their first workshop held at the historic Africa Center, SITAAD invites the public in Minneapolis to a workshop themed on their project Transmigrating Cassettes Vol. 1 which remediates Augustus F. Sherman’s Somali photographs and the troupe’s under-examined deportations.

In 1914, Chief Registry Clerk Augustus F. Sherman photographed a large group of Somali passengers from French Somaliland at Ellis Island Immigration Station. At the station, the group were processed as a performing troupe that arrived for exhibition purposes with Barnum & Bailey Circus. On the same day, in a letter addressed to the U.S. Department of Labour Ellis Island Immigration Inspector John F. Mann declared that at the “expiration of their tour,” each troupe member would leave the United States. The workshop will address the potential of uncovering colonial archives using sonic methods, along with an introduction to audio-visual methods. Workshop attendees will be invited to contribute to the project through cassette recordings and writings.

The workshop will include a Somali music cassette listening booth, dialogues, small plates, and refreshments.

*** Final presentation of this research will take place on September 15 at Soomaal House Gallery. More details to follow after the workshop.

Wednesday, Thursday & Saturday
1 – 5 PM

The Blooming Lotus Flower
August 19 – September 23, 2023