Sufi Poetry: a soundscape

A collaboration with members of the local Muslim community and the Shah Jehan Mosque resulted in an exhibition in the Art Fund Prize Gallery. The exhibition ‘Muslim Voices: Songs of Faith and Devotion’ featured a specially commissioned film and sound installation focusing on contemporary expressions of traditional Islamic poetry with cross generational and cross-cultural participants and artists.

The installation showed local Muslim elders singing traditional poetry in Urdu and Arabic, wearing traditional dress and younger Muslims reading English translations of the same poems. This collaboration and exhibition is recognition of the deep love in the reciting and singing of Sufi poetry in the Muslim community and aims to bring the beauty of this poetry and singing to as wide an audience as possible.

The artistic team for the project was led by sound artist Matthew Sansom. Also involved in the project were film makers Mansoor Suleman and Adam Shamash along with Luqman Ali and Eleanor Martin of Khayaal Theatre. The exhibition was on show from 4 February 2015 until 15 March 2015.

This exhibition has been funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundaion as part  of the Our Museum initiative.