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Exploring Contemporary Muslim Art, Culture and Heritage in Britain

September 14, 2017

In association with the Dept of Theology & Religion at the University of Birmingham


This one-day Muslims in Britain Research Network (MBRN) conference will create space for critical dialogue and community exchange by bringing aspiring and established Muslim artists and cultural producers together with eminent scholars and researchers, policymakers and arts funders. The conference will provide a space to discuss, inform and engage through a program of lectures, presentations and panel discussions. Cultural experts will share insights into the key factors affecting Muslim arts and culture in Britain.

For further information and registration see: https://muslimartconference2017.eventbrite.co.uk

Provisional Schedule:

09.15-10.00 – Registration and Networking

10.00-10.15 – Welcome
Professor Alison Scott-Baumann (MBRN Chair)
Dr Stephen Jones (MBRN General Secretary)
Dr Katherine Brown (University of Birmingham)

10.15-11-15 – Opening Plenary

Muslim Art & Culture in Britain: the Challenges
Dr Carl Morris (University of Central Lancashire)
‘Muslim Art and Culture: the Challenge of Conceptualisation and Definition’
Dr Fatima Zahra Hassan (Educator & Artist)
Luqman Ali (Artistic Director, Khayaal Theatre)
Sara Choudhrey (Digital Islamic Art, PhD Candidate, University of Kent)
Chair: Mobeen Butt (MBRN/Muslim Museum)

11.30-12.45 – Parallel Session 1

Muslim Art, Identity & Activism
Dr William Barylo (Affiliate Researcher, EHESS (Paris))
‘Art as a Decolonial Narrative: Rumi’s Cave in London’
Shahnaz Akhter (PhD Candidate, Warwick University)
‘Englistan, The New British’
Isa Sulaiman Noorudeen (Co-Founder, Developing Our Traditions)
‘Art in Our Times: The Battle with a Community to which Art is Alien’
Fasial Hussain (Director, True Form Projects)
‘Suspect Objects, Suspect Subjects’
Chair: Mohammed Ali MBE (Soul City Arts)

Muslim Heritage & Exhibitions
Dr Nazneen Ahmed (Research Associate – UCL)
‘“A Special Space for Sisters”: Tracing the Creative Making of Muslim Women’s Space Using Creative Research Methods’
Dr Irfan Malik (Independent Researcher)
‘The First World War contribution of Dulmial Village, Pakistan’
Haroon Ravat (Director, Xtra Mile West Midlands)
‘Connected Histories: Muslims in the WWI’
Izzy Mohammed (Project Manager, Soul City Arts)
‘Knights of the Raj Heritage Project’
Neelam Hussain (Curator, Cadbury Research Library, University of Birmingham)
‘Heritage, Arts and Islamic Manuscripts’
Chair: Dr Jamil Sherif (East London Mosque Archives)

12.45-13.45 – Lunch / Prayers (Zohar 1.03pm) / Networking

13.45-14.45 – Performance or Tour

Sufi Music
Dome Rehearsal Room, Bramall Music Building
Ayesha Khan (PhD Candidate, Cardiff University)
‘Contemporary Sufi Expression amongst Young British Muslims’
Tas Bashir & Dr Scott Wilson (University of Birmingham)
Qawwali Research Unit & Demonstration of Sufi music using B.E.A.S.T.
Chair: Prof Alison Scott-Baumann (MBRN/SOAS)

Tour of Cadbury Research Library (max. capacity 20)
Cadbury Research Library, Muirhead Tower
Neelam Hussain (Curator, Cadbury Research Library, University of Birmingham)
Tour of the Mingana Collection of Middle Eastern Manuscripts

15.00-16.00 – Parallel Session 2

Islam and Music: Rap, Choirs & Song
Mirina Paananen (Student, University of Oxford)
‘The Mosque Choir: Engaging with Muslim Choral Heritage’
Anna Nayyar (Research Director, Vivacity – Peterborough Museum)
‘The Quivering Scale: Tradition and Fusion Over 3 Generations of Muslim Women’s Song’
Ismael Lea South (Project Manager, Black Muslims in British History)
‘A Brief Overview of the History and Influence of Black British Urban Artistic Expression of Islamic Urban Rap & Poetry’
Dr Abdul-Azim Ahmed (Cardiff University)
‘Grime and Islam’
Chair: Dr Sadek Hamid (MBRN)

Traditional, Minimalistic & Digital: Islamic Art & Calligraphy
Dr Fatima Zahra Hassan (Educator & Artist)
‘Art of the Book’
Razwan Ul-Haq – Artist & Author, Calligraphy, Fantasy & Sci-Fi
‘Is There Such a Thing as “Islamic” Art? A Practical Exposition’
Razwan Baig – Calligrapher and Collector of Islamic Art
‘The evolution of Islamic Calligraphy’

Funding Workshop (TBC)

16.15-17.15 – Parallel Session 3

Prof Peter Morey (University of Birmingham)
Dr Rula M. Al-Abdulrazak (University of East London)
‘Who’s the hero? Muslim Women in Arabic Literature’
Chair: Dr Amina Yaqin (SOAS)
[Additional speaker(s) TBC]

Weapons of Beauty, Rumi’s Circle
Saimma Dyer (Director, Chickpea Press)
Fatimah Ashrif (Founder, Rumi’s Circle)
Mohammed Nazam (Founder, Berakah Arts)

(Re)Creating Muslim Heritage in Britain (roundtable)
Dr Jamil Sherif (East London Mosque Archive)
Sadiya Ahmed (Founder, Everyday Muslim Heritage and Archive Initiative)
Izzy Mohammed (PhD Candidate, ‘Representation in Public Archives’, University of Birmingham)
Haroon Ravat (Connected Histories: Muslims in WWI)
Neelam Hussain (Curator, Cadbury Research Library, University of Birmingham)
Facilitator: Mobeen Butt (Director, Muslim Museum Initiative)
[Additional participants TBC]

17.30-18.45 – Closing Plenary – Practitioner Panel Discussion

Artists in Conversation: the Opportunities
Mohammed Ali MBE (Founder, Soul City Arts)
Saba Khan (CEO, ArtEase)
Teakster (Digital & Graphic Artist)
Salma Zulfiqar (Humanitarian Artist)
Hassan Vawda (Community Arts Programmer)
Chair/Reflection: Abid Hussain (Director, Arts Council England)


September 14, 2017
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