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Jamaat 2021

Harrow Central Mosque, London

Harrow Central Mosque is a major architectural landmark and one of the biggest mosques in the country. It started life through the adaptation of a pair of semi-detached 1930’s houses. The house-mosque was modified and enlarged throughout its life, until it could no longer accommodate the size of the Muslim community, and the adjacent site was purchased and the new mosque built.

This site-performance seeks to understand the social, religious, cultural and environmental impact of the COVID-19 pandemic to the Muslim community. For many Muslims, the Friday Jumuah Prayer is the one opportunity in the week to learn and attain spiritual reinvigoration. Using Harrow Mosque as a case study, this artwork seeks to record and perform the social practices taking place during this health crisis, critically reflecting on the social distancing measures enforced during the performance of Friday congregational prayer. Individual prayer mats are used instead of the mosque carpet, allowing social distancing to take place. A portable sacred ground that can be used at any time, isolating worshippers from their immediate surroundings, transporting them symbolically elsewhere.