A screening of Omar Majeed’s landmark documentary, plus live performance and panel discussion hosted by filmmaker Hammad Khan: What happened to Taqwacore, and how is class, race, and gender tied in with Muslim resistance to Trump and Brexit?
TAQWACORE: THE BIRTH OF PUNK ISLAM
Dir. Omar Majeed 2009, Canada, 80 mins
“Taqwa” and “core,” referring respectively to an awe-inspiring consciousness of Allah and to the hardcore punk rock music style. They’re young. They’re punk. And they’re rocking both their Muslim and American worlds with their music and lyrics
Following the film, our panel will consist of:
Ms. Mohammed (formerly Dana Jade):
After a brief stint in side projects that saw her appearing at Reading Festival and on Later…with Jools Holland, the London-based artist released a self-titled LP of attitudinal alt-blues as Dana Jade in 2012, earning strong reviews and support slots with the likes of PJ Harvey collaborator, John Parish. But major changes have occurred in the intervening years. With LGBTQ and feminist progress has come a conservative backlash: austerity, Brexit, Trump, the #MuslimBan and Far Right fukry across the globe. And as life for marginalised voices becomes increasingly fraught, it feels increasingly important to own and value our otherness. Hence the name-change to Ms. Mohammed and her debut EP, Alibi.
Nabihah Iqbal (formerly Throwing Shade):
Many musicians like to speak of versatility, but Nabihah Iqbal has better grounds than most. She boasts an MPhil (focused on African history) from Cambridge, experience working in human rights law and a black belt in Karate. Formerly known as Throwing Shade, she’s ditched that moniker to embrace the name she was born with. Readying her debut album for Ninja Tune, Weighing of the Heart is a big statement in two ways: first, because she’s taken her real name to stand proudly as a female British Asian artists making music and, secondly, because she’s moved her music in a bolder, more expansive direction.
Nerm (Shiva Soundsytem / BBC): Broadcaster, DJ and founder member of Shiva Soundsystem, Nerm has an esteemed career in music curation and broadcast, having presented numerous shows on BBC Radio 1, BBC Asian Network and BBC 6Music. He is directly responsible for spearheading the exposure of Indian electronic and Indie music to Western audiences as well as bringing cutting edge, underground sounds from the UK back to his homeland, having toured India extensively for over 15 years. A major accolade has been to help make UK underground music mainstream force through his shows, events and writing. Nerm has also curated soundtracks for major cinema releases as well as heavy duty lineups for festivals. Not many people can claim to understand the trajectory of both Indian and UK underground music scenes as well as he can.
Nadia Javed (The Tuts): Sings and plays guitar in The Tuts.
Kaleem Aftab: Writes about movies, including for The Independent and Vice. Authored a book on Spike Lee. Film producer. Fulham fan! Coffee shop owner. Member UK Critics Circle. He is also a programmer for East End Film Festival.
Hammad Khan: London-based award-winning writer, director and producer of independent feature films, including the controversial Pakistani youth comedy-drama, Slackistan (2010). London-based short film Explosions (2006) premiered at the London Film Festival and was shortlisted for the Satyajit Ray Short Film Award. His second feature film Anima State (2013) was selected for the Fantasia Film Festival in Montreal, where it was described as “The most important film to come out of Pakistan in decades”.
LIVE: The Tuts
Nadia Javed (guitar/lead vox), Beverley Ishmael (drums), Harriet Doveton (bass/vox)
A pop-punk trio from West London, who pack a serious punch and are noted for their impassioned songs about sexism, feminism and everyday life-isms.