Meet the MFest Team

Tufyal Choudhury

Director

As a researcher and academic working on human rights, discrimination and social inclusion, I spent the past decade exploring the experiences of Muslim communities across Europe and north America. My conversations with political activists, community organisers, writers and thinkers, leave a sense that there are huge shifts happening below the surface, as young Muslims are exploring the ideas and identities that will shape this century. The inspiration behind MFest arises from the acute disconnect and disjuncture I’ve experienced between the diverse and vibrant Muslim communities that I know and see emerging across Europe, and more globally, and the narrow and...Read more

As a researcher and academic working on human rights, discrimination and social inclusion, I spent the past decade exploring the experiences of Muslim communities across Europe and north America. My conversations with political activists, community organisers, writers and thinkers, leave a sense that there are huge shifts happening below the surface, as young Muslims are exploring the ideas and identities that will shape this century.

The inspiration behind MFest arises from the acute disconnect and disjuncture I’ve experienced between the diverse and vibrant Muslim communities that I know and see emerging across Europe, and more globally, and the narrow and restricted space afforded to the representation of Muslim lives in our public culture.

A festival of books and ideas that recognises the diversity, differences and dynamics of Muslim cultures and lives, challenges a fundamental feature of Islamophobia that sees Islam and Muslims as a monolithic, static block.

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Saba Khan

Communications and Marketing Director

As CEO of ArtEase and a Visual Artist, I believe in the transformative power of art and literature.  I first saw Mark Rothko’s Seagram murals at the Tate, in the dark compact room with its private, subtle lighting.  I was immediately transfixed, absorbed in the dark maroons and blacks.  In this intimate setting, something shifted emotionally for the better.  At this moment, I truly realised the immense power of creativity, artistic platform and the absolute need to engage with the arts and literature for personal growth and understanding.  MFest will impact on cultural producers and their audiences in ways...Read more

As CEO of ArtEase and a Visual Artist, I believe in the transformative power of art and literature.  I first saw Mark Rothko’s Seagram murals at the Tate, in the dark compact room with its private, subtle lighting.  I was immediately transfixed, absorbed in the dark maroons and blacks.  In this intimate setting, something shifted emotionally for the better.  At this moment, I truly realised the immense power of creativity, artistic platform and the absolute need to engage with the arts and literature for personal growth and understanding.  MFest will impact on cultural producers and their audiences in ways that we intend and in positive ways that we cannot begin to predict.  I am excited at the ‘gift economy’ MFest will bring, with it’s enjoyable nuances, exchanges and learnings.  I look forward to sharing these stories with you through our marketing and social media.

Having also worked in social inclusion for 20 years, both in the UK and Europe, it appeals to me to work for a Festival that offers an excellent artistic platform for established and emerging artists and authors from Muslim communities, a much-underrepresented genius.

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Adrienne Loftus Parkins

Literature Consultant

Throughout my career, whether it was in marketing communications or in literature, I have focused on intercultural dialogue and understanding, because these are crucial to each of us living our lives in a fulfilling and open way in this interconnected world. As a non-Muslim, non-BAME immigrant to the UK, I can look at British society as both an outsider and insider.  I can see that there is a wide gap between what the public knows of Muslim communities – what we hear and read – and the warm, joyful and welcoming nature of the Muslim communities I’ve been exposed to...Read more

Throughout my career, whether it was in marketing communications or in literature, I have focused on intercultural dialogue and understanding, because these are crucial to each of us living our lives in a fulfilling and open way in this interconnected world.

As a non-Muslim, non-BAME immigrant to the UK, I can look at British society as both an outsider and insider.  I can see that there is a wide gap between what the public knows of Muslim communities – what we hear and read – and the warm, joyful and welcoming nature of the Muslim communities I’ve been exposed to in Britain and in South Asia.

I welcomed the opportunity to join the M Fest team, to share my knowledge of starting and running festivals, in order to create something unique to the UK: a festival that will both engage Muslims and welcome non-Muslims in sharing and celebrating all that is wonderful in Muslim culture, in all its diverse forms.

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