Muslim festival will be ‘one of first in UK’

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A month of theatre, music, workshops, comedy and discussions inspired by the rich heritage and culture of the Muslim world comes to Pennine Lancashire this July.

The Kinara Festival, organised by Love & Etiquette and Super Slow Way, is one of the first of its kind to take place in the UK and will bring diverse artists together to form the first comprehensive UK festival celebrating Islamic and South Asian arts and culture in time to celebrate Eid and the end of Ramadan.

This colourful festival draws inspiration from the rich mix of cultures in the area and seeks to celebrate and explore the beauty and complexity of that heritage by inviting internationally acclaimed artists to the stages of Burnley, Hyndburn, Pendle and Blackburn.

It aims to provide a platform for established and emerging artists, while encouraging a cultural exchange and dialogue that will challenge the sometimes negative associations faced by Muslim and ethnic minority communities.

A festival representing the cultural diversity of the region will enable people to come together and find commonality through art, according to Rizwan Iqbal, founder of Love & Etiquette.

He said: “Kinara is creating a space for artistic and cultural empowerment in the area by bringing international artists to local stages in a celebration of the diversity and heritage, colours and cultures of the communities in Pennine Lancashire and the UK as a whole.

“This is a landmark event for the area that we hope will send ripples of creativity and understanding across the region.”

Highlights include a spoken word poetry performance by the celebrated poet, broadcaster and official poet of the 2012 London Olympics, Lemn Sissay; one of the first UK screenings of Song of Lahore and a rare photography masterclass by one of the foremost photographers of the Muslim world, Peter Sanders.

The Kinara Festival will take place from July 8th – July 31st.

More information and a full line-up can be found at www.kinarafestival.co.uk.