The Muslim Arts and Culture Festival—aka MACFEST—launches its most ambitious programme yet this month, innovating with both online and real world events to pull together a calendar that runs until September and celebrates Muslim people in the creative industries right around the world.

It’s a huge programme, so here are our five must-sees to get you started, all of which are completely free (registration essential via Eventbrite).

WORKSHOP: Islamic Calligraphy | Tue 22 Feb | 6pm - 7pm | Online

A session for the kids as expert calligrapher Samir Malik leads an introductory workshop into the basics of Arabic script—still a cornerstone of Islamic art.

ART: Muslim Women’s Arts Festival | Sat 5 March | 10.30am - 5pm | Whitworth Art Gallery

An art and culture feast will take over the Whitworth, with the gallery becoming a cultural hub of exhibitions and workshops from local Muslim female artists. Ashfria Ashrif, Asma Jadakara Desai, Atefeh Seifi, Ayesha Yilmaz and Nataliya Stefurak will all display work in the iconic venue on the day.

Rabia Avici will also be on-hand to guide youngsters through marble painting while watercolourist Hannah Ihsan will celebrate the vibrant colours of the outside world.


DEBATE: Muslim Women Writers Speak Out | Tue 8 Mar | 6pm - 7.30pm | Online

Expect a lively and progressive debate as four strong female voices come together on this panel, held to mark International Women’s Day. Author Kübra Gümüşay, founder of Muslim Women Times Wardah Abbas, Afghanistan politician and activist Fawzia Koofi and British writer/broadcaster Myriam Francois are chaired by York University’s Dr Claire Chambers.

COMEDY: Fatiha El-Ghorri | Sun 13 Mar | 4pm | Online

Stand up comedian Fatiha El-Ghorri is unafraid to have a hilarious poke around into the stereotypes of what being Muslim means in the modern world. Her eye-opening comedic look at life as a Muslim woman has garnered her great reviews, plus several TV appearances.

FESTIVAL: Indonesian Festival | Sun 27 Mar | 1pm - 3pm | Online

History, art, music, cuisine and the Islamic influence are the focus of this two-hour online session. Undung Wiyono’s shadow puppetry and Dr Harry Nuriman’s mask dance are a real peek inside the cultural traditions of Indonesia, while chef Irfan Maulana and his team cook up dishes fit for Ramadan and Eid.

A Manchester Wire Partnership post
Sat 5 Feb - Sun 18 Sep
Sarah Walters
Published on:
Wed 9 Feb 2022