Thursday, 15 December 2011
Soul in the Machine - An Evening at The Hubb
I had a great time yesterday spent lunchtime eating and sharing with Mohammed Ali at a cafe near his Arts Centre The Hubb just down the road from where I live on the Stratford Road. I was then back at the Hubb later that day for Soul in the Machine billed as 'A journey of the soul through a technological world / VISUAL ARTS EXHIBITION LAUNCH, as well as PERFORMANCE POETRY and LIVE PERCUSSION'.
Chris Shannahan has blogged about the event here. I like Chris' post he really catches the mood of the evening when he says 'It was a moment of shared spirituality in the city, a moment of clarity, shared journeying towards dialogue and justice, a witness to our common humanity and to the multiflavoured, multicoloured, multifaith, multicultural soul in the urban machine. No relgious 'leaders', no elected politicians, no academics absorbing 'data' for their next book but the people of the city exploring identity and hope together through.. art, dub poetry and drumming...' but I'm not sure I fully agree with Chris when he says "It wasn't a Muslim event or a Christian event or a Sikh event or a Hindu event or a Buddhist event or a Jewish event"
On the contrary, I think there is something positively Islamic about The Hubb. It is an expression of a dialogical Islam, an emerging Islam, engaging openly with a variety of spiritualities, cultures and art forms. I often feel when I am at the Hubb that Islam is my host, providing a space for a multicultural expression of a yearning for God, for depth and for beauty. That is what makes the Hubb unique, that is why it plays host to art forms that have an explicit spirituality at their centre, because it is infused with the spirit of Islam or perhaps islam; the idea of a universal surrender to the Divine that is held within - but also known beyond - the institutional form Islam. The Hubb offers a new form of multiculturalism, an emerging multiculturalism where those faith communities that were previously patronisingly seen as being ''hosted' by a 'tolerant' 'Christendom' now become the host and new forms of alliance, creativity, identity and intercultural dynamism are developing. A new dynamism that we 'People of the Way of the Annointed One' in all our post Christendom multicultural dynamism can, do and will play our part.