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Three Britisth Mosques 2021

V&A Special Project Applied Arts Pavilion at the 2021 Venice Biennale

In collaboration with the Victoria and Albert Museum and architect Shahed Saleem the Three British Mosques exhibition was made for the Applied Arts Pavilion at the 2021 Venice Biennale. The pavilion looked at the self-built world of adapted mosques through 1:1 reconstructions of their highly decorative mihrabs, minbars and other architectural elements. Most mosques in the UK have been created by adapting existing buildings – from houses, shops, cinemas, pubs as well as other former places of worship. Often communities actively fundraise to build new mosques on these sites to better meet their community's needs. The history of the mosque in Britain is one of cultural dialogue, with different histories merging and presenting new opportunities for our urban fabric to evolve.

As part of the pavilion, Julie Marsh was commissioned by the V&A to conduct a series of interviews with members of the congregation at Brick Lane Mosque, Old Kent Road Mosque and Harrow Mosque, allowing individual worshippers to tell their personal stories of their relationship with their own mosque. Alongside the interviews, a series of films of congregational prayer, made as part of  ‘Assembly’ project, were shown as part of the exhibition. Films of congregational prayer show the community in action, and individual worshippers tell personal stories of their relationship to their mosque in a series of interviews.

For more information: please visit the V&A.