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Nabila Alibhai: What does Colour in Faith mean to me?

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.

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