Muslim Culture is a digital platform dedicated to highlighting the rich cultural heritage of Muslim civilisations across history. With a huge social media following, Muslim culture has captured the hearts audiences across the world.
We to talk to Sara Adio, the founder of Muslim Culture and discover more about the inspiration behind the platform, the importance of representing the diversity of Muslim heritage and democratizing culture.
Can you introduce yourself and your background. Have you always been interested in art and culture?
My name is Sara, I have been Muslim for 21 years and have a background in History and English Literature. I have always adored Muslim heritage and the enormous contributions to architecture and the humanities, which is often overlooked in western societies.
How did Muslim Culture begin and what was the inspiration behind the idea?
I initially started the social media account and website as a creative input for my own pleasure, Muslims where a focus for negative media coverage at the time, it felt unfair and lazy, so I tried to contribute in a small way to mitigate that sentiment, mostly just for my own enjoyment.
What aspects of culture do you showcase through Muslim Culture?
I use the site to focus on the wide range of phenomenal and frankly beautiful architecture that exits throughout the Muslim world. I do try to vary the content with appreciation for all the humanities.
Is representing the diversity of Muslim culture important to you and how do you do this?
It is incredibly important to highlight the diversity within the Muslim community, emphasising the cultural input and thus recognising the local synthesis of ideas and cultures which were accepted and incorporated when Islam grew and flourished in vastly different societies, in acknowledging this we can situate our own experiences in the context of historical Muslim societies.
How do you select and curate content for your platforms?
Trying to highlight heritage from throughout the Muslim world is at the forefront of decision making, relying heavily on historical input.
When people think of Muslim culture what do you think their general assumptions are?
I hope they think of the vast architectural and literary contributions that we have showcased from Africa, Arabia, South Asia all the way through to Europe and Russia, Muslim contributions are so comprehensive and inclusive, we can only hope that reaches a wide and receptive audience.
What has been the most memorable reaction to Muslim culture platforms?
The positive reaction to the accounts has been absolutely amazing, and the general positivity from both the Muslim and non-Muslim audience has been such a wonderful and heartwarming experience.
How do you think Muslims are represented and perceived in heritage spaces such as museums and archives?
In the Muslim world there is a strong and confident sense of identity within heritage spaces, in the west there is obviously a smaller input in comparison, however I think there is a growing confidence and the efforts to highlight Muslim contributions are wonderful, you can see more and more how grassroots organisations are changing the dynamic in these spaces, and for the better.
Do you think digital platforms help democratize culture and offer a space to collect our own stories?
I do, very much so. It offers a space for people and organisations to reach a wider audience. Work and family commitments don’t allow for every sector of society to engage in person within heritage spaces, social media acts as a conduit in that sense, people can simply pick up their phone and instantly they can engage.
What are your plans and aspirations for Muslim Culture?
I hope the space will continue to uplift and highlight all that Muslims have to offer the humanities and heritage.
What are your thoughts on the potential for the future of Islamic art and culture?
There is and always has been a phenomenal amount of quality contributions from Muslims, wherever they may live, and I think this is only going to continue to grow, inshAllah.
For more information check out https://culturedmuslim.wordpress.com/
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