Ladan Osman is a Somali born artist whose work is a lyric and exegetic response to problems of race, gender, displacement, and colonialism. She is the author of Exiles of Eden (Coffee House Press, 2019), winner of the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, and The Kitchen-Dweller’s Testimony (University of Nebraska Press, 2015), winner of a Sillerman Prize. Her other honors include a Whiting Award and fellowships from Cave Canem, the Michener Center, and the Fine Arts Work Center.
Osman’s first short film (co-directed), Sam Underground, profiled Sam Diaz, a teenage busker who would become the 2020 American Idol. She was the writer for Sun of the Soil, a short documentary on the complicated legacy of Malian emperor Mansa Musa. It was selected for inclusion in the Cannes International PanAfrican Film Festival and the New York African Film Festival. Her directorial debut, The Ascendants, is streaming now. She lives in New York.