A new exhibition explores the celebration of Eid through the stories of local communities.

Curated by poet, playwright and producer Hafsah Aneela Bashir, Eid: Past & Present has been co-commissioned by Oldham Coliseum Theatre and Rifco Theatre Company exploring the ways in which we celebrate Eid. It will run at Oldham Library and Lifelong Learning Centre from Saturday 7 May – Sunday 12 June. 

Each year, as the holy month of Ramadan comes to an end and the new month of Shawwal begins, Muslims all over the world look toward the night sky for a sighting of the new moon.

Hafsah Aneela Bashir is one of Oldham Coliseum Theatre’s Associate Alumni. An Associate Artist for two years, her work with the Coliseum includes The Poetry Health Service as part of the Homemakers project with HOME, Manchester. 

She is founder and co-director of the arts collective, Outside The Frame Arts, passionate about platforming voices outside the mainstream, and is also previously an Open Exchange Supported Artist with Royal Exchange Theatre Manchester, a Leader of Tomorrow with the Artistic Director’s Leadership programme and was awarded the Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellowship in 2019-20.

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Hafsah said: "It’s been such a pleasure curating this exhibition showing the rich and diverse ways Muslim communities celebrate the festival of Eid. With so many stories shared, you realise there is no one way of marking this beautiful occasion that follows the holy month of Ramadan. 

"Thanks to the generous public, Oldham Coliseum Theatre & Rifco Theatre Company, we get to witness this rich variety up close. With Eid memories spanning England, Libya, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Algeria, Gujrat, Ghana, Azaad Kashmir and Sudan we are in for a real treat!"

Hafsah is one of 21 British South Asian artists commissioned to create work as part of a national project to celebrate Rifco Theatre Company’s 21st birthday: 21 Artists for 21 Years. 

Led by Artistic Director Pravesh Kumar, Rifco is one of the UK’s most successful touring theatre companies. 

Their previous tours to Oldham Coliseum Theatre include: Dishoom! (nominated for an Asian Media Award in 2019); Britain’s Got Bhangra and Break The Floorboards.

Eid: Past & Present will run at Oldham Library and Lifelong Learning Centre and is available to attend for free within Oldham Library and Lifelong Learning Centre’s opening times between Saturday 7 May – Sunday 12 June.