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Article Posted • 27 Nov 2020

Safe spaces for British Muslims in Mapping Sanctuaries

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Safe spaces for British Muslims in Mapping Sanctuaries

Mapping Sanctuaries is an interactive exhibition by London-based visual artist, designer and creative facilitator Alaa Alsaraji whose work emphasises the value of using creativity as a pedagogical process to address and explore larger issues such as identity, faith and race.

The exhibition is a collection of digital illustrations and sound pieces exploring the notions of safety and the spaces that exist between isolation and belonging within Muslim communities. It aims to platform the voices of British Muslims from different backgrounds to illustrate what these spaces look and feel like, and what they provide physically and emotionally for these communities.

The exhibition, curated by Mishelle Brito, was originally scheduled to run at the P21 Gallery from 29 October – 11 November but had to close early due to the national lockdown.  Luckily the exhibition is also available to view online at For those who would like to experience the exhibition in person it will now run from 8 – 19 December at P21 Gallery (please check for booking details). Visitors will be able to link their smart phones to the audio clips associated with the graphic designs in the exhibition to hear voices of Muslims in the UK talking about their sanctuaries and places of peace or calm.

To complement the exhibition P21 is running a series of public events online and in person (post 2 December).  For more information please visit P21 Gallery’s website.

Alaa Alsaraji

Alaa is currently the Arts Editor of Khidr Collective, a multidisciplinary artist collective creating platforms and spaces for young Muslim creatives, where she is involved in the visual production of the annual Khidr Zine and online platform. Alaa has her own website

Formating Part of

Amal Programme

This article was published during the Amal Programme, a programme of the Saïd Foundation from 2018 – 2021. The Programme awarded grants in the UK in support of a rich diversity of arts projects and activities that helped to increase understanding of the UK’s Muslim communities among people of other faiths and none and to foster a stronger sense of belonging among its Muslim communities. For more about the Programme, see our Amal Programme Findings Report here.

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