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Hafsah Aneela Bashir Eid Past and Present

Eid: Past & Present is part of our 21 Artists for 21 Years programme.

The exhibition will run at Oldham Library and Lifelong Learning Centre and is available to attend for free within their opening times from Saturday 7 May – Sunday 12 June.

Hafsah Aneela Bashir has collected stories about Eid for this special Rifco 21st Birthday Celebration Exhibition via a public call out for members of local communities to submit their own memorable photographs. 

Each year, as the holy month of Ramadan comes to an end and the new month of Shawwal begins, Muslims all over the world look towards the night sky for a sighting of the new moon.

Eid Ul Fitr is a blessed festival where family and friends gather together to celebrate, pray, give gifts to one another and feast! It’s a time of great generosity and gratitude. 

This commission looks at bringing Eid celebrations, often seen as something celebrated 'behind closed doors', into a public space. The exhibition contrasts explores both past and present memories centred around Eid celebrations and the diversity of cultural practices. 

These family portraits are presented with an accompanying soundscape of people's voices talking about the importance of Eid and what it means to them today. 

Speaking ahead of the exhibition opening, Hafsah said: 

"It’s been such a pleasure curating this exhibition showing the rich and diverse ways Muslim communities celebrate the festival of Eid. With so many stories shared, you realise there is no one way of marking this beautiful occasion that follows the holy month of Ramadan. Thanks to the generous public, Oldham Coliseum Theatre & Rifco Theatre Company, we get to witness this rich variety up close. With Eid memories spanning England, Libya, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Algeria, Gujrat, Ghana, Azaad Kashmir and Sudan we are in for a real treat!"

Eid: Past & Present is a co-commission from Oldham Coliseum Theatre and Rifco Theatre Company created by Hafsah Aneela Bashir with support from and Oldham Library and Lifelong Learning Centre and digital artist Grant Archer.