Can You See Me? 
- MGF community project & exhibition 
Role: Creative Facilitator, Curator & Project Manager 
A project by: Maslaha, British Fencing, Impact Hub Birmingham, Youths2Legends
In collaboration with photographer Sarah Ali 
Originally exhibited at Centrala Gallery, and touring community spaces across Birmingham in 2020 
Persistent negative media stereotyping, combined with counter-extremism policies that are operating to stigmatise young Muslims, mean that more than ever Muslim women find themselves spoken for as opposed to spoken to. This exhibition aims to reinstate Muslim women as their own storytellers, and to open up a space for Muslim women and women of colour to articulate and express their identity on their own terms. In a climate where public imagination around Muslim women is being ever constricted and manipulated, this exhibition is an opportunity to reclaim a narrative and tell honest stories focused on aspiration, creativity and very real lived experiences.

‘Can You See Me?’ is an exhibition by Muslim Girls Fence Birmingham, in partnership with Impact Hub Birmingham and Youths2Legends. As part of the project we held a series of creative workshops with Muslim women and women of colour, exploring issues around identity, representation and misrepresentation of Muslim women in society. The result of these conversations is a photo series, created in collaboration with photographer Sarah Ali, which involves a series of 'self-portraits' curated by the participants themselves. By sharing their experiences of being a Muslim woman/woman of colour in the UK today, they challenge reductive narratives and the overwhelmingly negative image of Muslim women reinforced in mainstream media.This is part of the nation-wide Muslim Girls Fence project, a partnership between Maslaha and British Fencing aiming to challenge misconceptions of young Muslim women, in the light of the complex discrimination they face on the basis of both faith and gender, through sport and creativity. The initiative also breaks down conceptions of fencing as a white-dominated, elite sport that is not accessible to people of all backgrounds.

Use #MuslimGirlsFence to join the conversation!  
Exhibition Launch at Centrala Gallery 

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