Category: Perspectives

Colour In Faith is an art project grounded primarily on the idea that we all belong to each other.  While there are many diving lines that continue to thrive, I am interested in exploring how art can be used to erase boundaries.  The inspiration for my work comes from the people I encounter moment to moment in my life. Plato once wrote, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” Through my practice as an artist I am interested in exploring how we can be soldiers in each others’ armies collectively engaging in the sadness and joy that comes with being human.

Colour in Faith is an opportunity for self-reflection as individuals, communities and as a country about what it is that elevates us in pursuit of higher purpose. The series of terror attacks we have experienced have left us feeling powerless and as a country we struggle with how to heal and how to play an active role in steering our collective future in ways that feel relevant, meaningful, and of our choosing. For many this expresses itself as a crisis in religious identity with some seeking brotherhood in extremism. For many, there is a growing mistrust in the other and diminishing confidence in representative bodies. There is a pervasive feeling of having no control in divining the direction of our reality and having little access to decision-making processes.

Colour in Faith is a form of citizen action that is aimed at challenging our feelings of helplessness in the face of a hijacking of faith for destruction. It is a form of inclusive action aimed at rekindling a sense of positive possibility and purpose-driven action. Our methodology combines community leadership building with public art such that communities develop tools to collectively analyze their public realm and community priorities, empathize with their fellow residents, and articulate common aspirations.

This initiative also comes from recognition of the role of pleasure in social change. Forced change only builds resistance. The arts and beauty have the potential to bring comfort, project an aspired way of life, express identity, offer a moment of reflection and elevate one, even momentarily, from a state of frustration and despondency.

It’s not always easy to remember encounters with people and experiences in different places in such vividness; the words and animated conversations, the varied attire, the number of people in that painting on that wall in the dining hall. But it is easy to remember how those experiences made you feel; at least that’s what I’ve found so far with Colour in Faith. Here are a few examples of some of my experiences so far:

  • Sitting in on a church service in Kariadudu and listening to Pastor Gabriel preach about the glory of the lord, resulting in a resounding ‘Amen!’ by the audience.
  • Entering a Gurdwara in South C and being flooded by a sense of divinity as I find myself encompassed by the most incredible arrangement of mirrored and decorated glass.
  • Finding serenity and solitude as I walk down the blue-walled, airy and quiet corridors of Jamia mosque.

I was able to experience a profound sense of community, peace and joy in all of these environments, and I believe that it is so important for everyone to feel this. It is a part of human nature to create areas where we can feel love and connection. Colour in Faith is about uniting people across all faiths and religions, and celebrating what brings us together rather than what separates us. I can’t think of a better way to do this than through this grand collaborative gesture using yellow that will create beacons of hope throughout the country. It serves to remind us that at the end of the day we are all human, and that we all have the ability to love and be loved- that we all NEED to love and be loved. To me, that is everything.

Being in this process to bring humanity together is a great opportunity for me. This is the time when the world needs to know that Muslims value life and not terror. We value love not hatred. We have different faiths but we were created for common action and that is what this process means to me. As a Muslim I would love to show the world that Islam is all about peace and love #this is Islam love and peace.

It pains me that even the Government is showing signs of fear and prejudice with instances where Muslim communities are not allowed to convene in the CBD. I hear Muslim Leaders speak of Christian leaders avoiding to meet them. I think this is the time to change that mindset and to come together in a common action that unites our people.

My dream is that one day I will see a world free of terror attacks in the name of Islam.


To contact inCOMMONS: For immediate attention write or call:
Nabila Alibhai
Tel: +254 789865535
Otherwise, go here


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