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Co-Production Mini-Academies with Birmingham’s Muslim Communities

Please note that registration for these events has now closed.
If you still wish to take part, please contact: j dot r dot hodkinson at warwick dot ac dot uk

I am an academic based in German Studies in the SMLC, and I have been engaged in a range of collaborative cultural projects, mainly arts and education focussed, with Birmingham’s Muslim Community since about 2016. My work centres on, though is not limited to, my collaboration with Birmingham based Artist Mohammed Ali MBE and his Soul City Arts collective. Recently SCA have been awarded a large commission to run a cultural programme in association with the Birmingham 2022 Festival of the Commonwealth Games. The Waswasa project explores aspects of Muslim faith, spirituality and prayer within the often-challenging context of contemporary secular society. The project will culminate in a series of multi-media performances at the Birmingham Hippodrome in August 2022. This will also involve a graphic arts installation that will be co-developed and co-produced with members of Birmingham’s Muslim communities, putting their voices at the heart of project. It is in this regard that I am putting out a call for collaborators.

Watch the launch video here:

I have been awarded funding from Warwick’s Enhancing Research Culture Fund to explore and share new ways of conducting research and engagement. Normally the kind of activity implied by this project might have been thought to lead to forms of ‘impact’ arising from engagement. However, I intend to use my share of this funding to extend the community outreach programme associated with the Waswasa Project. Rather than simply running arts workshops with diverse Muslim communities, I will be extending these events into Mini Academies on the theme of co-production. This will make space for Warwick researchers to attend, embed within working groups and gain insight from the experience of co-producing new knowledge, as well as new art, all whilst with communities often labelled ‘hard to reach.’

Participants will be able to attend one or more of our academy sessions at our warehouse venue in Sparkbrook, Birmingham:

Soul City Arts, Unit 1, Port Hope Ind. Estate, Port Hope Rd, Sparkbrook, B11 1JT.

The dates all fall in June, at the following times:

  • Wed 1st June, 1pm to 4pm
  • Sun 5th June, 1pm to 4pm
  • Wed 8th June, 10:30 am to 1:30pm
  • Wed 15th June, 10:30 am to 1:30pm
  • Wed 22 June, 6pm to 9pm

In the sessions you will be asked to share in conversation and collaborate in the hands-on activity of co-producing an arts installation. As we work, we will as researchers seek to enhance culturally sensitive ways of working, build trust, broker new conversations, and record testimony. Most crucially, we will reflect on how we can co-author new and shared projects and goals in a way that will benefit researchers and communities alike in perhaps unforeseen ways.

There will be a series of guidelines regarding conduct, practise and the limitations of what can be undertaken in the project. Our community collaborators are not involved in order to become case studies or the objects of research, but to model new ways of working with us. Colleagues joining us will need to sign an agreement to this effect.

The project will speak well, I hope, to colleagues in Arts and Social Sciences, though is open to all. I look forward to hearing from you with enquiries and expressions of interest of all kinds. Should you wish to enquire more about the project, then please simply write back to me and we can talk more. Email me: