Last week, on the 11th and 12th September 2014, I held an exhibition of my research from the past 15 years into the phenomenon of Islamophobia. Titled, “Islamophobia: from pavement to parliament” the exhibition was held at the University of Birmingham’s Think Corner pop-up space in the Pavilions Shopping Centre in Birmingham city centre.
Over the two days I sought to use different approaches to explain to the general public how my research into Islamophobia has gone beyond the mere academic, helping to raise awareness of the experiences of those who become victims of street-level anti-Muslim hate as also trying to shape and influence political thinking about how best to tackle this unwanted and un-necessary phenomenon. This is where the title came about, from ‘pavement to parliament’.
As part of this, I also gave a ‘cafe-scientifique’ style talk on the evening of the 11th. Entitled, “Islamophobia: why it matters to Birmingham” the talk set out a number of reasons why – if Birmingham is to be a successful, cohesive and integrated city in the future – we need to work together to tackle Islamophobia as indeed all other forms of discrimination, bigotry and hate. You can listen to the talk on Soundcloud by clicking here.
Over the two days, I engaged with around 50 or so people, most of whom would never have encountered my research and so on that basis alone, the exhibition was a success.
To find out more about Think Corner, click here.