Can street art still punch through the politics?
Mohammed Ali’s new Brick Lane mural channels stories of heritage and legacy – and sparks negative commentary in the process. But can street art still transcend ideological critique?
Mohammed Ali’s latest mural ‘The Land is Calling’, now emblazoned over the side wall of a Brick Lane property, is arresting to the eye. The split-focus . . .
The Complex Flavours and Unheard Stories of Sylhet.
It’s another one of those cool days that pass for summer in the UK. The sky is overcast with lead-grey cloud. On such days, I’ve grown accustomed to dropping in at Cha and Nasta a café in my adopted hometown of St Albans, to add some warming spice to my day with a cup of deshi chai, chat with the proprietors, whom I have known for a number of . . .
The real test for empathy.
Some months have passed since I completed the ‘Re-imagining Islam’ public engagement project. It ran from autumn 2015 through to summer 2019, drew in several rounds of finance from my native Warwick University and later external funders such as Arts Council England. It was a huge undertaking for all involved.
As the UK’s Research . . .
An Exercise in the Art of Empathy.
As an academic, I always go back to my books. One in particular, an 1819 collection of poems, the West-Eastern Divan by the German poet Goethe, is a unique work of European literature dedicated to the cultures and religions of the Middle East – chiefly to Islam. In the collection, the lyrical voice of the poems enters into a . . .
Impacting Secondary Schools with MFL Research
If you run an internet search on the Hafez-Goethe Monument - the Hafis-Goethe Denkmal - in Weimar, Germany, Google Images will present you with the usual wall of photographs of the two granite chairs that I have often written about here. Yet so many of the images reveal how the site has been added to or modified over the years: . . .
- or Engaging Diverse Publics with Academic Research on the History of Islam
I’ve been thinking a lot about chairs recently. No, I’ve not been drooling over IKEA’s latest designs, and nor am I getting down with the urban middle classes by up-cycling discarded chairs from thrift stores to give my house that shabby-chic look. Anyone who’s been following this blog will know the growing importance to my work of . . .
Taking the ‘Trans-nationalizing Faith’ Project at Warwick University off campus.
A longer entry this time as I have been buried in various projects of late and have not written here for a while. This year I am on sabbatical from the start of October 2015 through to May 2016. It’s a chance to move my own publications forward, in particular my book-length study of Islam in pre-twentieth century German culture, . . .
Cover image credit: http://Photo by James Hodkinson.