White House Author
Abdi is the Executive Director of the Somali Documentary Project and a visiting scholar at the Center for African Studies at the Ohio State University. He uses art and photography to advocate for human rights, social justice, and civic engagement, and led various efforts around the world to create awareness for Somali refugees and internally displaced people, through speaking engagements, fundraising and advocacy. Abdi’s work has been shown in museums and galleries around the word including “The Somali Community” at the Riffe Gallery in Columbus, Ohio, and "Against Forgetting, Beyond Genocide and Civil War" at the Intermedia Arts in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 2006. His exhibit “Stories of the Somali Diaspora” appeared at the Columbus Museum of Art (2007), the Bates Museum of Art in Lewiston, Maine (2008), the Weisman Art Museum in Minneapolis (2009), and the Plains Art Museum in Fargo, North Dakota (2009-2010). His work was exhibited at the National Museum of Fine Arts in Santiago, Chile, as part of the “100 Years of American Art: A Social Perspective, 1910-2010”. His most recent exhibit “The Somali Diaspora; A Journey Away” was shown at the Open Society Institute in New York, NY (March 2011) and is currently exhibited at Open Society Institute in Washington DC. Abdi received the Individual Artist Award from the Greater Columbus Arts Council (2006) and the Ohio Arts Council (2004), and the Raymond J. Hanley Fellowship Award. The South Side Settlement House honored him with the Arts Freedom Award in 2006. Along with writer, Doug Rutledge, his book, The Somali Diaspora, A Journey Away, was published by the University of Minnesota Press (2008).