From The Internet to Real Life: August in Meet Ups

In the spirit of the last book I read this month, August has been a month of ‘Daring Greatly’ and putting myself outside of my comfort zone. I’m the kind of person that freezes the moment I see a camera so finding myself saying yes to a few opportunities that came by was surprising. However, I’m glad I did because this month was marked by meeting great people that I otherwise would not have come across and having eye-opening conversations.

My first meet up was with a talented photographer by the name of Shazad Khalid, a filmmaker and photographer currently working on an exhibition exploring British Muslims and the theme of identity.  After our first conversation where he explained the project to me, I knew I had to say yes and the shooting experience was brilliant! Some of the photos were recently showcased at an event but I’ll be sure to post details about the exhibition when it’s ready.

After that, I had an interview with Charlotte Bibby who runs the exciting Instagram page ‘Reclaiming Muslim’, a photography project documenting the thoughts, stories and experiences of Muslims in London and beyond. Our conversation definitely had me thinking about the role of allies and how conversations about identity and faith can be fostered within our society. The interview isn’t up on the page yet but I’ll be sure to share it here when it is.

I ended the month by meeting up with Zainab Khan, the woman behind the Instagram page CoffeeandHenna and shooting for “Black and Muslim in Britain”, an independent video series organised by poet Mohamed Mohamed, TV presenter Sakinah Le Noir and spoken word artist Saraiya Bah. When Zainab got in contact, I was really excited to have a sit down with her because I love the idea behind the project of connecting with strangers and sharing stories. We talked about everything from career choices to navigating mental health as a Muslim whilst she did my henna. One of the great things about social media is that allows us to meet people we might otherwise not cross paths with and if this sort of interaction is of interest, do get in contact with Zainab through the page.

I wanted to take part in the ‘Black and Muslim in Britain’ filming last year but the dates didn’t align with my schedule and it almost didn’t again this year when the project was kick started again, but luckily an extra date of filming meant I could take part. I enjoyed the filming process and usually I never watch myself back but I can’t wait to see the finished product which will be aired during Black History and Month.

So there we are! August in online meet ups.

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