Ali Said Hassan’s Golol Art Gallery: A Window into Somali Culture
March 31, 2023

Ali Said Hassan, born in 1950, is a distinguished Somali artist, filmmaker, and intellectual. With a remarkable career spanning over several decades, Hassan has contributed significantly to the preservation and promotion of Somali culture through his art, films, and galleries.

Hassan’s multifaceted career began as a photojournalist, where he honed his skills in capturing the beauty and essence of Somali life and being contracted by Somali Airlines, Somali Tourism Ministerium and Somali Fruits. He later transitioned into filmmaking and became a renowned film producer and director, creating ground-breaking works that explored the complexities of Somali society. Moreover, he is a respected archive collector, having collected and preserved over forty years of Somali history, which he funded with his resources.

Hassan’s passion for Somali culture led him to establish the Golol Art Gallery in Mogadishu in 1987. As the sole proprietor of the gallery, he showcased a diverse range of Somali art and artifacts, providing a space for artists to display their works. In addition, the gallery organized cultural exhibitions on the traditions of Somalia, which were exhibited not only in Somalia but also in Germany, Italy, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

In 1999, Hassan moved to Frankfurt, Germany, where he continued his work in preserving Somali documents. He also joined the Deutsches Filmmuseum, Germany’s national film museum department, further expanding his expertise in the film industry.

One of Hassan’s greatest contributions is his commitment to nurturing young talent in the arts. He recruited youth from the streets and trained them in painting and storytelling, using authentic art techniques that embodied the Somali cultural essence. Many of the famous Somali artists today were trained and coached by Hassan, a testament to his dedication to the development of Somali arts and culture.

Ali Said Hassan’s contributions to Somali culture through his art, films, and galleries have been invaluable. He has preserved and showcased the beauty of Somali traditions, and his passion for nurturing young talent in the arts has inspired countless individuals to pursue their dreams.

Golol Gallery

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