Mythological Migrations: Imagining Queer Muslim Utopias examines formations of queer identity and resistance in Muslim migratory contexts. More specifically, responding to an urgent need to recognise queer Muslim voices and addressing the rampant Islamophobia in Europe (and the West at large), through artistic and theoretical formats, the project contextualises narratives of Muslim LGBTIQ+ immigrants in Islamic history, mythologies, and art – challenging and re-imagining spaces of exclusion and fetishisation.
The project also includes two films by Abdullah Qureshi that have a direct relation to heterotopic spaces, cruising grounds and the Persian garden.
Journey to the CharBagh, (2019, 08:17 min)
Drawing upon Sufi traditions of interpreting Islamic sacred texts, where love and equality are celebrated, Journey to the CharBagh is a poetic and experimental exploration of queerness from a Muslim perspective. The narrative focuses on the figure of the Buraq, a winged mythological creature with the ability to travel to heaven, encountering terrestrial and celestial beings, moving toward a spiritual and queer awakening.
Director: Abdullah Qureshi
Producer: Danai Anagnostou
Directors of Photography: Hadi Rehman (Pakistan) & Kerttu Hakkarainen (Finland)
Cruising: Other Ways of Love (2020, 08:45min)
The film employs a fictional and experimental narrative, thinking about cruising from mythological and queer perspectives. Visually, the film draws on personal memories, encounters, and selects characters from the paintings of the Pakistani artist, Anwar Saeed (b. 1955). Music is composed by Zan and includes interviews conducted by Abdullah Qureshi in Marseille, France with queer Muslim friends.
Written and Directed by Abdullah Qureshi
Produced in collaboration with Khadeeja Arham, Zainab Zulfiqar, Umair Sajid, Hadi Rehman
Post-Production Producer: Danai Anagnostou
About the Artist
Abdullah Qureshi is a Pakistani-born artist, curator, and educator. Within his practice, he is interested in using painting, filmmaking, and methodologies of collaboration and organization to address personal histories, traumatic pasts, and sexuality. Through his on-going doctoral project, Mythological Migrations: Imagining Queer Muslim Utopias, he examines formations of queer identity and resistance in Muslim migratory contexts.
More about the project can be found here: www.mythologicalmigrations.com