Taking place at Saathi House in Birmingham, Sight & Sound provided a series of workshops introducing Muslim women to multiple art-forms and a platform to exhibit their artwork at major arts venues.
Project Partner: Saathi House Project Lead: Fateha Begum Location: Birmingham
Over 12 months, working with four Muslim artists, local women who have had little opportunity to engage with creative activity learned new arts skills in spoken word, poetry, creative writing, and storytelling, calligraphy, graffiti , geometric patterns and mosaics. Based at Saathi House, a centre in Aston that supports women to drive positive change in their lives, the 30 participants gained the ability and confidence to make work that relates to them and their experiences. Saathi House is a safe space for women to explore their creativity and engage with ‘acceptable’ arts, without fear or worry. They created a series of artworks which went on display at the Birmingham Rep and City of Birmingham Symphony Hall.
Video credit: Enlighten Video
Sight & Sound created a platform for Muslim women to get creative and learn new art tools and techniques. The project was dedicated to increasing the presence and visibility of Muslims in the creative sector and art was used to share the participants' stories and creative inner while connecting the different Muslim communities in Birmingham.
“I loved art when I was younger, but I wasn’t allowed to go into it but now I can.”
Participant - Sight & Sound
Artist, Haseebah Ali, with participant
Nilupa Yasmin artist
Paper art workshop
Paper art workshop
Images credit: Saathi House
This project has helped broaden horizons and forge common ground within and between communities, offering an opportunity for diverse Muslim voices to be heard and encouraging encounters within and across communities.
Some Muslim women may be reluctant to get involved in the arts in case they compromise their religious and cultural beliefs. The women participating in this project have stepped over this barrier which arises in part because of the dearth of creative opportunities available to them. By enabling the core participants to own their own definition of art and creativity and to become ‘artists’ themselves, Sight & Sound has given them greater confidence to engage independently with their communities and act as creative role models. The project has also developed Saathi House’s capability to offer creative opportunities in the community, making it an example for other community organisations who want to follow suit.
Haseebah Ali was one of the artists who co-created the Sight & Sound project with Saathi House.