Arts, Culture and Music

Inter Faith Week provided a great opportunity for events showcasing arts, culture and music linked to faith communities across the UK.

In some cases, members of the public were introduced to these by visiting a place of worship or going on a faith trail. In others, people of different faiths came together to  create art as part of a joint social action project to raise awareness of hate crime, or the refugee crisis.

People also used the arts, music and cultural activities to send powerful reminders of the things that unite people of different faiths, and to display harmony and common ground. These events revealed not only the richness of the UK’s faith communities, but also the value of people of different faiths and beliefs coming together and contributing to wider society. 

Examples of events that took place involving the arts, culture and music included:

  • A performance of an inter faith choir in Norwich Cathedral. Local singers from different faith and belief backgrounds came together to perform five songs from different faith traditions, all with a universal message.
  • A special ‘object handling’ session at Durham University Oriental Museum, where participants were invited to explore art and artefacts from the museum’s Hindu, Sikh, Islamic and Buddhist collections.
  • The inter faith ‘Light for Leeds’ exhibition at Kirkstall Abbey, which included music and dance from different cultures, as well as a ‘Tree of Hope’, on which participants were invited to place a wish for a brighter future.
  • An art exhibition in Belfast on the theme of ‘I am more than a label’. The project used arts, photography and videos to tackle sectarianism, racism and prejudice by encouraging participants to challenge stereotypes. The exhibition, during Inter Faith Week, was the culmination of a six-month project, and brought together asylum seekers from Homeplus, the Quaker Service Youth Project, female ex-prisoners from NIACRO, victims of hate crime involved in NIACRO’s Stem Project, and a group of LGBTQI teenagers from Carafriend.
  • An evening of music and a recital organised by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Merthyr Tydfil. The evening featured addresses from Guest Speakers drawn from local faith and inter faith organisations and included performances from a male voice choir, a duet, an instrumental recital, a poetry recital and a Quranic recitation.
  • An art exhibition at Milton Keynes College on the theme of ‘Overcoming Ignorance’. The exhibition featured responses to the theme from people of all faiths and none, and a private viewing held during Inter Faith Week to launch the exhibition featured an address from Education Ambassador Ahmed Nawaz and a musical performance from a group of Syrian Refugees.
  • The ‘Inter Faith Celebration Day’ at the Jewish Museum in London. The event was attended by people of all ages, and featured arts and crafts as well as a calligraphy session, dance and storytelling, led by people from a range of faith traditions.
  • The Civic Arts Centre and Theatre in Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire, ran an inter faith theatre project titled ‘Ramesh and Juliet’. The project explored dramatic themes and current issues, using theatre to bring young people of different faiths and beliefs together.
  • The ‘Wise Words’ event organised by the Multi Faith Chaplaincy and the Multi-Faith Centre at the University of Derby. This was a projection, onto the exterior wall of the Centre, featuring a series of short extracts from the writings of different faith traditions set against images and accompanied by music.
  • An event held by the Clifton Muslim Interfaith Team at the KSIMC Mosque, Balsall Heath, Birmingham. The theme was ‘Expressions of Faith, Spirituality and Community through Art’, and the event featured guest speakers, a film screening, and exhibitions of painting, photography, wood carving and poetry by local artists.
  • The awards ceremony of the annual ‘Faith Through A Lens’ photography competition, funded by Congregational Insurance and supported by The Inter Faith Network for the UK and Churches Together in England.

To see how Scottish Interfaith Week was celebrated through Arts, Culture and Music go to http://www.interfaithscotland.org/scottish-interfaith-week/

Published 18 January 2017