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Ayan Cilmi

Ayan Cilmi is a filmmaker, thinker, notetaker, and creative, currently occupied with the themes of surveillance, plastic, climate collapse, and displacement. She has performed her work as part of Haramacy at the Trinity…


A faded image of a black woman with silver earrings and in traditional Somali dress superimposed onto the entrance of a dark building looking out onto plants and trees.

Still from Kabniin shot by Omar West.

Ayan Cilmi is a filmmaker, thinker, notetaker, and creative, currently occupied with the themes of surveillance, plastic, climate collapse, and displacement. She has performed her work as part of Haramacy at the Trinity Centre and screened at Conversation & Confinement at The Station. 

In addition, she is a co-founder of the Dhaqan collective, a feminist art collective of Somali women, centering the voices of womxn and elders in their community, and privileging co-creation and collaboration. The collective uses everyday materials, cassette tapes, food, and textiles to create spaces of communion, joy, and healing that center the full range of Somali diasporic experiences. 

You can find her at the PM studio working on the Bristol + Bath Creative R+D funded project Audible Tapestries which focuses on finding new ways to combine sound with physical 'woven' artefacts. The project explores the links between Somali nomadic weaving patterns and the songs that are an inherent part of the weaving process. 

www.dhaqan.org