“Though through my commission, I’m hoping for an opportunity to explore an aspect of the narrative with the young women at Fatima in Glodwick, Oldham.”
A complicated question to answer, and a topic of discussion between me and the young women of Fatima Women’s Association. The group, most of whom identify as Pakistani and have grown up in Britain, spoke of their connection to fashion, tradition and music, the interconnections between them, and their identities. What I found striking was how much I don’t know and how much I am learning through this commission.
Pakistani and Muslim culture is a huge part of Britain, with the recent census showing evidence that Pakistanis make up the second largest ethnic minority in England and Wales. Indeed, 6.5% of the population identify as Muslim, yet perceptions can often see this narrative excluded from the conversation around ‘Britishness’.
Our multicultural nation prides itself on it’s diversity and tolerance, yet government policies around immigration, incarceration and deportation often appear to be at odds with these concepts of inclusion.
The diversity of our experience define our culture and and I believe there is a need for this to be celebrated and learned. Disasters like Grenfell and the rise in Islamophobia in the West make this discussion all the more prevalent in our contemporary society.
Though through my commission, I’m hoping for an opportunity to explore an aspect of the narrative with the young women at Fatima in Glodwick, Oldham. The Fatima Women’s project is already a triumph in social engagement and I’m optimistic that by engaging in a creative conversation with them, that we can collaborate to further reflect our country’s identity and for it to be showcased and celebrated.
YDF24: Artist /02