Picturing the New Americans
Minneapolis, Minnesota, is home to roughly 30,000 people of Somali origin. Many of them are refugees, having fled famine and decades of war—a situation not dissimilar to that of today’s Syrian refugees. For the past year, photographer Arthur Nazaryan documented this enclave of new Americans to show that Somalis, and migrants in general, could be more than “perpetrators or victims of conflict."
The Somalis who live in Minneapolis are much like regular Minnesotans —barbecuing, riding speedboats, going to the playground, and hosting dinner parties. According to Nazaryan, they are also avid Snapchatters, posting selfies of their every move. “I was kind of surprised, given how conservative the culture can be, to see the younger generation going out, dating, and using social media,” Nazaryan said. “In Somali culture, it’s really important to be connected and communicate with each other.”