Close to Home: British Muslim Expression and Identity

The idea behind MFest is to bring together everyone with a connection to Muslim identity and explore what we have in common, what we can learn from each other and celebrate the differences and connections in our cultures. Within our programme of events we have asked artists, writers, performers and academics to look at Muslims within the UK as individuals and communities, far beyond the stereotypical monolith we are often presumed to be. This celebration of identity is what we’re calling our ‘Close to Home’ events and they cover feminism, poetry, careers and comedy.

They start with Sayeeda Warsi who will discuss the notion of the “right” kind of Muslim and her book The Enemy Within: A Tale of Muslim Britain, a look at many aspects of life in the UK including the widespread inclination to assume Muslims speak with a single voice.

Ensuring the story of multiple voices, the authors of Cut From The Same Cloth join us to talk about the different types of feminism evolving with Muslim communities and the developments and changes in the power dynamics between men and women. In conversation with…Kamila Shamsie sees the award winning novelist discuss her latest book with acclaimed BBC journalist Razia Iqbal. Later in the evening we look at expression through dance with the singular Akram Khan ahead of the UK premiere of his new work, Xenos, at Sadler’s Wells. If you’d rather take in a performance than a discussion, My Side Of It poetry night will bring together viral sensation Souhaiyma Manzoor-Khan aka the Brown Hijabi, Momtaza Mehri, Aliyah Hasinah, Hodan Yusuf and the outstanding Sabrina Mahfouz, editor of ‘Things I Would Tell You: British Muslim Women Write’.

Indulge your own self-expression with Louai Alhenawi’s workshop Drumming for the Soul and sit back and laugh with the team from Don’t Panic, I’m Islamic on Sunday night.