← Assembly:

← Virtual Assembly:


Faith Place and Migration 2024

Staffordshire Street Gallery, London

Faith Place and Migration represents the tangible and intangible cultural heritage of London’s oldest Nigerian community, the Muslim Association of Nigeria (MAN UK). Originating in the 1960s as a transient group, it wasn’t until the 1980s that a more permanent community began to form which led to their first place of worship - the Old Kent Road Mosque in Southwark. In 2018, approval was granted for a six-storey mosque to be built on the site, as both an act of devotion and a practical response to a growing community. In September 2021 the original building was demolished to make way for the new mosque.

This exhibition will feature two expanded moving image installations created by artist Julie Marsh during a five-year collaboration with the Old Kent Road Mosque congregation. One of the installations, ‘Assembly’ (2024) attempts to filmically perform Islamic prayer through a moving floor projection. Originally filmed and exhibited in the original mosque, this film now serves as a record of the final Jumu’ah (congregational) prayer that took place before the mosque closure. For this exhibition the film will be projected into Staffordshire St, bringing the mosque congregation and wider community together through the re-performance of congregational prayer.

The second installation, ‘Virtual Assembly’ (2023), is an interactive 3D model of the mosque building hosting stories and accounts from mosque members. The audience is encouraged to navigate the site using a controller to trigger these insights as they move around the space revealing the lived experiences and embodied knowledge of the community.

Shahed Saleem and Julie Marsh will co-curate the exhibition and events programme in collaboration with the Old Kent Road Mosque community, which will offer the wider community an opportunity to connect with the congregation through workshops and events such as an Open Iftar, a meal to celebrate the breaking of fasting during Ramadan. The exhibition will question the nature of a community archive and explore how the narratives of community members are embedded in and told through the architecture of their sacred spaces