It was and it was not
35-47 Bethnal Green Road, Shoreditch, London E1 6LA
Sunday, 13 Jan'13 18:00
- Sunday, 13 Jan'13 21:00
Staging the Ummah 2
It Was and It Was Not: Identity and the Power of Storytelling
An Evening with Wajahat Ali, Riz Ahmed and friends.
In the second of our "Staging the Ummah" series, join US playwright, author and commentator Wajahat Ali & renaissance man – actor, musician and activist – 'Riz MC'Ahmed (starring in Four Lions and upcoming film The Reluctant Fundamentalist) for a provocative & interactive exploration of the power of storytelling.
From the cafes of Damascus to the banks of the Niger River to the courts of Sultans, Muslim cultures created rich traditions of telling stories. Poets and griots, scholars and troubadours told tales - real and conjured– to teach, entertain, provoke and inspire. Their stories often began, "It was and it was not" – a challenge to the listener to not just hear the stories, but to imbue them with imagination.
Fast forward to 2013 and those ancient days seem far away indeed. With the popularity of prime time shows like Homeland and Citizen Khan, "Muslim" and "Islam" now carries with it the idea of something exotic, out-of-place and dangerous.
What's the state of Muslim storytelling? Who is telling our stories – and are they any good?
What is the connection between story and identity? What makes one narrative more authentic than another?
Given the diversity of the Muslim experience, does telling our stories also mean exposing ourselves to even more scrutiny by others?
In this second instalment of our "Staging the Ummah" series, join American playwright, author and commentator Wajahat Ali and renaissance man – actor, musician and activist – Riz Ahmed (starring in the forthcoming film adaptation of the novel The Reluctant Fundamentalist) for a provocative and interactive exploration of the power of storytelling.
The evening will kick off with some real, live stories: Musician and Digital Artist Hassen Rasool and special guests will share stories – real, uncut and delivered without notes – responding to the statement "You think you know me, but you don't". Not to be missed!
Brought to you by Radical Middle Way and The Leaf Network with Rich Mix
Supported by Rumi's Cave and the Emerald Network