The media narrative about Bradford has often overlooked the city’s positive aspects, portraying it in sensationalist and negative terms including as a place of antagonism between communities.
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Over 30.5% of the population of Bradford is Muslim, giving it the highest proportion of Muslims of any UK city.
There is a strong link between deprivation and high Muslim population areas, with the most deprived ward in the city being over 70% Muslim. Bradford is the fifth most income deprived borough in England. It has one of the youngest populations in the UK but also one of its highest child poverty levels with 30% of children living below the poverty line. In these circumstances, levels of engagement in creative activity are inevitably low as a result of financial and other barriers which Amal has documented in consultation with Muslim communities.
The media narrative about Bradford has often overlooked the city’s positive aspects, portraying it in sensationalist and negative terms including as a place of antagonism between communities. This inaccurate and outdated story has been hard to shake off but Bradford’s recent success in winning City of Culture 2025 provides a path to growing opportunities for Muslims in Bradford to realise their creative potential and to change the narrative about themselves and their place in the city.
We established Bradford as an Amal hub location in 2021 to enable us to work to build a community of practice in the city that ensures Muslims are fully represented in the artistic and cultural life of Bradford as artists and as communities.
We do this by consulting Muslim communities closely; connecting communities with artists and arts organisations to grow creative opportunities; enabling communities to visualise the creativity they want to explore through taster activities; supporting high-quality arts projects that are co-created by Muslims and creative professionals and showcased within the wider community; and convening our stakeholders to share learning and build mutual trust and understanding.
How your donation will help
£50 can contribute to Bradford hub general operating costs
£75 can enable communities, artists, and arts organisations to share learning and develop skills
£250 can give a community a workshop to help them understand their creative potential
£625 can provide young Muslims with quality co-creation opportunities
£10 can help support more co-created projects
£25 can help support our hub work
£30 can strengthen our advocacy and impact
£50 can support monitoring, evaluation, and learning
Creating a fairer Bradford Story
In our work in Bradford, we have found communities with a great appetite for creative engagement. Muslim artists and communities see that we exist specifically to serve them and know that their work and priorities will be understood by us when they are not by others. Through our programmes of support, we incentivise and enable them as well as arts organisations to do work that is unlikely to happen otherwise. The result is that Muslims come into mainstream arts spaces they did not previously see as theirs, as well as into faith spaces exhibiting creative work they can interact with; diverse audiences are attracted to Muslim-inspired art forms for the first time; and opportunities grow for positive cross-community encounters that embrace difference.
More Muslim stories are told and are heard. The arts sector becomes more representative and inclusive of Muslims. And the story around Muslims in Bradford and the UK changes to one that is more confident, diverse and just.
Your donations will enable more stories and more encounters to take place. Please join us in changing the narrative.