MFest: A Festival season of Muslim Knowledge and Creativity


MFest returns to the British Library.

This is a free online festival season hosted on the British Library platform.

Book your MFest Festival Pass HERE and get access to all sessions on 5 June.

Festival Pass bookers will be sent a link to view each session shortly before it takes place, and links will remain live for 48 hours.


MFest is a multi-arts festival of Muslim knowledge and creativity run by Maslaha in partnership with the British Library.

MFest brings together artists, activists, thinkers, organisations and collectives to celebrate the collective power of diverse Muslim communities.

MFest reclaims and recontextualises the diverse stories and histories that represent Muslim communities. The festival works with partners to explore and unlock existing archives – while celebrating and acknowledging all the vital ways that embodied knowledge sustains and nourishes communities.

MFest is excited to present a community generated season of events with a focus on creating tangible opportunities for black and brown artists, and meaningful legacy through the festival. Look out for a community-led showcase from the British Library sound archive and the MFest short story competition, in partnership with Hajar Press.

MFest is free to attend. However you may wish to purchase a copy of MFest speaker Nadifa Mohamed’s new novel The Fortune Men when booking your Festival Pass. Price £14.99 including UK postage. *

*Please note an additional postage charge of £5 applies for orders from outside the UK. Books purchased will normally be dispatched within seven days after the event. Please ensure your address is up to date on your British Library account.


Day 3 – Saturday 5th June

Join us for another day of conversation, discussions and workshops.

14:30 – 16:00
Archiving for Ourselves

In this event we launch a 30-minute audio documentary A Merciless Light - Covid 19 in Newham that shares stories of how Covid 19 was experienced by communities in Newham in ways that have not been acknowledged or accounted for in official reviews and records, serving as a reminder that archiving for ourselves is urgent and necessary work. The documentary will be followed by a conversation with four panellists: New Delhi based oral historian Aanchal Malhotra whose second book, In the Language of Remembering, will be published this autumn, Sadiya Ahmed, founder of Everyday Muslim Heritage and Archive Initiative in the UK, Asmaa Jama, who is part of the Camel Meat and Cassette Tapes project at Dhaqan Collective and Ghazal Haqani, co-producer of A Merciless Light - Covid 19 in Newham to discuss why recording and archiving at this time is so important, and the role that oral history can play, as a form of activism, in subverting and reclaiming narratives.

17:00 - 18:00
Book launch: The Fortune Men

Join authors Nadifa Mohamed and Leila Aboulela for the launch of Nadifa’s new historical fiction novel, The Fortune Men. The book explores the case of Mahmood Hussein Mattan who was unjustly executed after falsely being accused of murder. He is the last man to be executed in Wales. The Fortune Men shines a light on this hidden history of a black Muslim man subjected to a terrible injustice in 1950’s Britain.

19:00 - 20:00
Telling Queer and Trans Muslim Stories

Queer and Trans Muslim stories are often erased, tokenised or co-opted in attempts to frame Muslims at large as uniquely homophobic and transphobic. We are bringing together poet and screenwriter Fatimah Asghar, award winning author Zeyn Joukhadar, historian and writer Blair Imani and screenwriter Faryal Velmi to discuss how we make room for Queer and Trans Muslim stories to be told on their own terms.


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