Doctoral Candidate Qureshi Muhammad Abdullah

116375 €

Mythological Migrations: Imagining Queer Muslim Utopias Through Contemporary Art

Tieteellinen tutkimus ja taiteellinen työ / niihin pohjautuva työ | Kolmivuotinen

Responding to an urgent need to recognize queer Muslim voices and challenging rampant Islamophobia in Europe, my doctoral project contextualizes narratives of Muslim LGBTIQ+ refugees and asylum seekers in Finland in Islamic history, mythologies, and contemporary art. Taking the format of a multidisciplinary installation and a publication, the project is divided into three parts: Past, Present, and Future. ‘Past’ looks at the life and poetry of Rab’ia al Basri (713–801) and Madho Lal Hussain (1538–1599), both revered as Sufi Saints, and renowned for their radical views on love, desire, and equality. In ‘Present’, I build a case to learn from the work of the Pakistani contemporary artist, Anwar Saeed (b. 1955), who over three decades has been looking at ideas of queer desires within the South Asian Muslim context. And finally, in ‘Future’, I bring the various elements of the project together to showcase an imagined future queerness that counters existing representation of Islam and migrant bodies in Europe. Within Finland, the project further challenges normativity and notions of invisible witness by opening up a complex dialogue on migration, sexuality, and religion.