Axmed Maxamed

Axmed Maxamed is a Queer Diasporic Somali activist, organizer and music nerd. Axmed was born in Xamar, Somalia where he spent his early years until his family had to flee during the civil war and ended up in the Netherlands.

He spent his formative years in Breda in the south of the Netherlands until he moved to Amsterdam. In Amsterdam Axmed co-founded Dance with Pride, a queer initiative which aims to re-unify dance music with its queer roots and has been raising money for and awareness around grass roots queer initiatives, with the fund-raiser parties and sales of the Dance with Pride T-shirts.

He co-curated the music compilation Place: The Netherlands which raises funds for and awareness around LGBTQIA+ refugees in the Netherlands. Axmed also co-organises the first Somali LGBTQIA+ gatherings in the Netherlands. In addition to that Axmed is involved in other queer initiatives, with focus on QTBPOC and organises mutual aid fundraisers for Queer Somalis in different parts of the world.

Together with Ladan Maandeeq, Axmed started working on ‘Queer Somali Pasts and Presents: A Storytelling and Archival Research’ which will focus on the lives of Queer Somalis in the diaspora and Somalia, both in the present day and the past. Part of this project is getting Lagaama Roona by Saida Sheikh Ahmed translated into English. Lagaama Roona is a very important and unique book on the rights of LGBTQIA+ in the Somali community.

For several years now, Axmed has been giving talks, workshops and interactive lectures at community-led events as well as for education organisations like School for International Training, on topics such as Queerness, activism and organising, asylum and migration. Axmed addresses systemic inequalities in Dutch society and in the underground dance music scene. Systemic inequalities in the music scene pave the way for harmful practices such as cultural appropriation and the white washing of Black music, which has been normalised in dance music and beyond and needs to be addressed more broadly. In 2021 Axmed joined the curation committee of Halloquium, a Trans and Queer led conference in on nightlife which will be taking place both virtually and in person in Brooklyn, New York, USA.

Other things!