The exhibition ‘Muslim Voices: Songs of Faith and Devotion’ was the result of a project with The Muslim community in Woking, including members of the Shah Jahan Mosque, and was on show at The Lightbox from 4 February – 15 March 2015.

The project explored the long tradition of reciting poetry and prose in praise of God and the Prophet Muhammad. The audio visual installation (shown in the videos here) is inter-generational and presents traditional Islamic poetry, in its original language and style, alongside English interpretations in ways that reflect the style and culture of younger members of the community.

The project seeks to respect and value the roots and meaning of this tradition, whilst through youthful re-interpretations of the poems it also seeks to bring new significance to their place in contemporary life and beyond.

Film makers Mansoor Suleman and Adam Shamash, Luqman Ali and Eleanor Martin of Khayaal Theatre, sound artist Matthew Sansom and members of the local community were all involved in the making of these films.

The verses used are part of a living tradition passed from generation to generation taken from various sources, written and oral. Three poems in particular play a central role in the exhibition.

A handout was available in the exhibition which provided information about the display and included the poetry featured in the installations. Download a copy here.

This project was funded by Paul Hamlyn foundation as part of the Our Museum initiative.