Makrooh started off as a passion project. As time’s passed and we’ve continued to share the work-in-progress, we began to see the level of impact it’s had on the people involved. It’s boosted confidence, provided reassurance, encouraged collaboration and as far as we’re concerned we’ve barely even scratched the surface of what can be done yet.
On Sunday 20th August we had the opportunity to share our work in progress at The Old Blue Last as part of ‘The Kominas’ European Tour! We exhibited a handful of portraits by the projects founder/ creative producer and photographer Shazad Khalid who also took to the stage to share a spoken word piece to illustrate why this project is so important to him and why he’s chosen to share the projects journey in such a way. The response was phenomenal with the venue being filled out wall to wall!
In light of these ‘revelations’ so to speak, we wanted to curate a showcase of the work-in-progress through which we could host a series of talks around some of the above mentioned themes in a more open but intimate and homely environment.
“The idea is that we can use this time to gain direct feedback from our audience and to ask them what they feel we might be missing. Our goal is to make Makrooh as inclusive and diverse as possible, and we can’t achieve that without listening to what our audience wants and needs from this project. To ensure that the project is able to grow as organically as possible we’ve even opted to self-fund the project to begin with so that we don’t have to compromise any of the work being done.
We want to make sure we do everything we can to represent British Muslims in the best possible ways, but more importantly, we want to start looking at ways in which we can bridge gaps between existing voices and organisations who are doing similar things.”
– Shazad Khalid
Makrooh officially launched through a small event on Friday 22nd September 2017 in the heart of London Shoreditch at a co-working space called Ziferblat. Guests enjoyed homemade Kashmiri chai, samosas and pakoras (lovingly made by mama Khalid) while performing artists Zmaraks, Firdos, Rabiah Hussain, Zia Ahmed, Usaama Minhas, Fahima Hersi, Mizan the Poet and Shazad Khalid took to the stage to share deeply personal, heart-touching poetry. As a special touch, Makrooh ended the evening with an beautiful acoustic set from diverse punk band The Tuts.
To keep up the momentum we programmed a series of talks and workshops around the topics of ‘Bringing young people back into the conversation’ and ‘How to create your own spaces and support structures’, including speakers from Khidr Collective, Amaliah, Inclusive Mosque Initiative, Female Muslim Creatives and more.
The response since the launch has been incredible and proves that there is a need for more diverse and accepting spaces in the Muslim community.