Theatre meant a chance to delay homework by one night and pack an extra packet of crisps in your lunchbox for the bus home

I meant to write a different blog post, I’ve been meaning to for ages – something about the sexualisation of Muslim women and how islamophobia colludes with the patriarchal imagination to dominates us in ways specific… But it’s a complex piece to write. And I feel a different thought flowing through me today so let’s go with that instead. I’ve been thinking a lot about … Continue reading Theatre meant a chance to delay homework by one night and pack an extra packet of crisps in your lunchbox for the bus home

In Conversation With My Grandma

I haven’t been writing here for some time as I’ve been in Pakistan and writing about that instead, here. But today I felt an urge to write at my main blog – thematically and historically, it makes most sense. So I’m sitting with my Nani (maternal grandmother) in Lahore, explaining and badly translating my way through videos of my poems and talks on Youtube. Minute by minute … Continue reading In Conversation With My Grandma

This World Hijab Day put your money where your mouth is

Since 2013, February 1st has been marked as an annual “World Hijab Day”. The intention behind this labelling was that women (Muslim and non-Muslim) globally would be invited to experience wearing a head-covering for one day in hopes of fostering “religious tolerance and understanding”. I get where this comes from, I do – but I do not support the endeavor. In suggesting that one must actually … Continue reading This World Hijab Day put your money where your mouth is

Not Great Yet: reflections on a month in the USA

I had the privilege of being aided to travel to the USA (the southwest) for the past month in order to perform poetry, give talks and facilitate some workshops. It was an unexpected opportunity and one I saw as a real blessing and chance to expand my understandings and perceptions of the world. However, the USA threw me. I thought I knew what to expect … Continue reading Not Great Yet: reflections on a month in the USA

Islamophobia is not a “phobia”, it’s a way of governing

This month is Islamophobia Awareness Month. I didn’t actually know that was a thing until last year, and then I forgot again, until this year. I suppose like all groups who face structural violence and hatred, Muslims have now been granted a month in which public bodies and liberals should affirm their sense that they care for marginalised people. I am certain that many confronted … Continue reading Islamophobia is not a “phobia”, it’s a way of governing

The lessons I learnt from writing my own “Decolonised” syllabus

Earlier this year I got bored of the course I was studying as the core part of my degree.  “Postcolonial Theory and Practice” – it was a name that was exciting and yet which failed to fulfill its promise and potential. It was outdated, it was canonical and it didn’t quite unsettle us enough. Three of my course-mates and myself discussed this regularly. We were … Continue reading The lessons I learnt from writing my own “Decolonised” syllabus