Homebound: Poetry & Spoken Word Workshops for Young Muslim Women

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“Homebound” is a nine-session poetry, spoken word, and editing workshop series that will explore the theme “The Future We Build”. This workshop will be an opportunity to learn from our Muslim women artists, be mentored by our amazing facilitators in the art of writing, performance and editing, and finally, write about, celebrate and share our experiences with our fellow Muslim women peers; all done in a space that is safe and free of judgment. In “Homebound” we seek to inspire, support, and have fun!

Not only do you get a FREE arts-based poetry workshop, everyone in Homebound has an opportunity to learn from Warsan Shire at a day-long poetry retreat, be published in our 3rd Muslim women poetry collection as well as perform on stage in front of their community at the beautiful Daniels Spectrum in Regent Park! How amazing is that?

The workshops are open to anyone (16-29) who self-identifies as a Muslim woman through the spectrum of familial, spiritual, political, cultural, and ancestral connections.

Workshops dates are:

Sept 27 – 1-4pm (writing)
Oct 11 – (all day writing and arts retreat with Warsan Shire)
Oct 25 – 1-4 (writing / exploration)
Nov 8 – 1-4 (writing / exploration)
Nov 22 – 1-4 (writing / exploration)
Dec 6 – 1-4 (editing 1)
Jan 10th – 1-4 (editing 2)
Feb 7 – 1-4 (editing 3)
March 28 – 1-4 (final touches and mini-celebration)

Participants have access to:
-TTC tokens
-Childcare (upon 48 request)
-Language Interpreters (including ASL) available (upon 4 day request)
-Opportunity to be published as well as perform
-Mentorship from established Muslim women poets & writers

Pre-registration is required please contact us to register 416-323-9149 ext 268 or outburst@schliferclinic.com and we will send you a short registration form to complete. The registration application deadline is Monday September 15th.

Homebound is generously funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

Truth & Dare: Photography & Photo-Based Mixed Media Workshops

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Come to explore the theme “The Future We Build” through photography-based creative exploration. 

Truth & Dare is a FREE arts-based workshop series for young Muslim women interested in photography and mixed media facilitated by arts educator Zahra Agjee. Build your photography skills, make art, tell your stories and learn about amazing Muslim women artists. No previous experience needed!

Workshop dates are:
Sept. 27 – 1:00 – 4:00
Oct. 11 – 10:00 – 4:00 (full day arts retreat with Warsan Shire)
Oct. 25 – 1:00 – 4:00
Nov. 8 – 1:00 – 4:00
Nov. 22 – 1:00 – 4:00
Dec. 6 – 1:00 – 4:00

Plus, you have an opportunity to join us on October 5th for Scotiabank Nuit Blanche!

The workshops are open to anyone (16 – 29) who self-identifies as a Muslim woman through the spectrum of familial, spiritual, political, cultural, ancestral connections.

Participants have access to
– TTC tokens
– Childcare (upon 48 request)
– Language Interpreters (including ASL) available (two weeks prior to workshop date)
– Opportunity for your art to be showcased in an art gallery show during the Scotiabank Contact Festival

Space is limited, please email us to get an application at: info@tndproject.com. The registration application deadline is Monday September 15th.

This photography workshop series for young Muslim Women is one of several workshop series by The Truth & Dare Project in partnership with Outburst! Young Muslim Women Project.

About the arts educator – Zahra Agjee is a freelance photographer and graphic artist who practices and resides in Toronto. Her work deals with issues of identity, representation and the self. She graduated form the Ontario College of Art & Design with a Photography major and a Graphic Design minor. Agjee currently coordinates and facilitates The Truth & Dare photography workshop series for young Muslim women as well as facilitates youth art programs in the Greater Toronto Area.


The Truth and Dare Project hosts a workshop series for young Muslim women who have faced forms of violence, discrimination, racism, Islamophobia, poverty and marginalization and segregation based on their beliefs, the colour of their skins, or whom they associate with. Our workshops create a safe space for young Muslim women to collaborate with other who have faced similar adversities; learn individually and collectively; and explore art as a creative outlet to share their stories. Participants will find mentorship in youth leaders and artists, build community with those who share relatable experiences and most importantly, leave with the feeling that they have a safe support system in place.

Outburst! is a movement of young Muslim women in Toronto who are breaking silence and speaking out about violence. As young Muslim women we want to determine the ways in which we define and access safety. Outburst!, a project of the Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic, is an opportunity for us to build community through art, education and research.www.outburstmovement.com

Funding for Outburst! Young Muslim Women and Truth & Dare Project provided by the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

What Outburst! Means to Me

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There is something powerful about the community that has been built by Outburst. I have been fortunate to be apart of this group the past year and honestly I wouldn’t have it any other way. Every single meeting/event I was surrounded by amazing women who inspired me and pushed me to be a better person. I was fortunate enough to be one of the curators for the first young muslimah art exhibit at Daniel Spectrum called (Mus)interpreted. I had never curated a galley prior to the exhibit but I was given the chance to learn and execute a great event that positively affected the community of Regent Park. The exhibit was open for a month showcasing the great talent within the muslimah community. For several artists this was their first time exhibiting their art. I wouldn’t have had that opportunity without the great people at Outburst.

Outburst is one of my favourite projects in the city it allows for women all over the GTA access free programming and leadership opportunities. The project has affected my life and continues to change the lives of all the women it touches.

We have less than 48 hours to make a positive impact in the community. DONATE to Outburst! Young Muslim Project. This will allow for the project to continue accessible programming for young women in the Greater Toronto Region.

Written by: Nasma Ahmed

Toronto Arts Program for Young Muslim Women Seeks Funds to Survive

The following blog article was published on August 4, 2014 on MuslimLink: Ottawa’s Community Newspaper. Article link: http://muslimlink.ca/news/national/toronto-arts-program-for-young-muslim-women-seeks-funds-to-survive

Written by Suzanne Kanso

Outburst, an innovative project which provides space for young Muslim women to explore issues of identity, faith, violence, Islamophobia, and empowerment through free arts programming is crowdfunding in order to continue nurturing marginalized voices.

Back in 2011, Outburst began as a program at Toronto’s Barbra Schlifer Clinic, which offers counselling for women who have experienced violence. For counsellor Farrah Khan, who spearheaded the initiative, art is therapy. “Art is a form of healing,” Ms. Khan says, so by reaching out to these young Muslim women, “we get to heal, connect and tell our stories.”

The program also aims to be inclusive of a diversity of young Muslim women’s voices and judgement is not made on how Muslim a young woman is. If a young woman self-identifies as Muslim either religiously, culturally, or politically, she’s welcome. The project also actively engages young women from across the ethno-cultural diversity of Toronto’s Muslim communities.

Outburst has run educational workshops for these youth to explore everything from poetry, photography, and alternative media. At the same time, participants gain knowledge about violence against women, its root causes, and how to speak out against them.

Outburst receives a grant from Youth Arts PitchThe project has also provided these young women opportunities to get involved with research on issues facing their communities. Project organizers believe that strengthening the voices of young Muslim Canadian women is critical for not only their personal success but also in order for the broader society to gain a better understanding of a group which is often misrepresented in the media. “Let’s face it, where do you come across research symposiums where young Muslim women are the experts on issues that affect their lives,” Shameela Zaman, Outburst’s project coordinator, asked.

Outburst strives to fight Islamophobia by engaging young Muslim women in public education initiatives for agencies offering services to survivors of violence, such as abused women’s shelters. Farrah sees addressing Islamophobia in social services as key to being able to support Muslim women facing patriarchal violence in their communities. “What’s been frustrating about Islamophobia is that you see it play out again and again in how [Muslim] women access services or don’t want to access services,” she stated. This includes services such as counselling for survivors of physical and/or sexual violence. According to Farrah, Muslim women sometimes avoid seeking much needed counselling because they assume, sometimes rightly, that counsellors will judge their culture or just not understand their reality. “They thought people just wouldn’t get,” Farrah stated.

One on-going challenge Farrah identifies among service providers is their perception of religion and personal freedom. Imagine if a counsellor told their Muslim client “it’s okay now that you left your family, you can take off your hijab,” Farrah stated. Outburst’s public education work has helped service providers understand the complexity of Muslim women’s choices in relation to faith, identity, and dress.

But Outburst also provides a safer space for young Muslim women to speak out about issues like violence and gender inequality within Muslim communities without feeling like they are airing the community’s dirty laundry. By demonstrating that there are various ways to be Muslim simply by bringing together a diversity of Muslim young women with artists who themselves represent the diversity of Muslim women’s self-expression, the project aims to “challenge the narrative” that involves policing Muslim women’s choices in terms of clothing, interests, and worldviews. Challenging the Islamophobic notion that Muslim women who choose to veil are oppressed but also confronting ideas within Muslim communities that Muslim women who choose not to veil are immodest is an example of how Outburst hopes to provide a safer space for young Muslim women to feel comfortable just being themselves.

What’s important for Farrah and participants in Outburst is “to create safer spaces for Muslim women to connect to a vision of a world that we want to create, [because] … in so many spaces we feel pushed, pulled, persecuted and punished for who we are or who we are assumed to be.”

To contribute to Outburst’s crowd-funding campaign visit their page on Indiegogo.

Click here to check out Outburst’s website