Somali Sounds and Stories



Sophie Herxheimer & Elmi Alli


British Library


As part of the British Library's Unlocking Our Sound Heritage programme a series of listening sessions took place throughout March 2022, developed and delivered by the British Library in partnership with Camden Somali Cultural Centre.

Through five weekly sessions, online and in person, the project aimed to connect participants with audio recordings of Somali song, poetry and heritage from the British Library Sound Archive in a relaxed, informal way. The sessions offered a space for listening together with others, reminiscing and connecting with cultural heritage. Somali poet and storyteller, Elmi Ali, and artist and poet, Sophie Herxheimer, led the listening sessions.

During the sessions Sophie drew and painted in response to the recordings and the conversations and memories they evoked. In this booklet the drawings reveal those words and stories and can be enjoyed alongside a playlist of Somali recordings from the sound archive, which can be found at


No images found.

← Back to Publications