A British Muslim Arts Movement

Morris, Carl orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-6698-3116 (2023) A British Muslim Arts Movement. In: Contemporary British Muslim Arts and Cultural Production. Routledge, pp. 23-32. ISBN 9781003330714

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003330714-3


In this chapter, I explore the conceptual and practical dilemmas involved in labelling artistic work as ‘Muslim’. Using the Black Arts Movement (BAM) and Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) as useful comparators, I evaluate the potential consequences of labelling artistic expression. The BAM failed to mould an independent and isolated African American culture, but it did radically influence wider American society. Conversely, CCM failed to break out into mainstream music culture, but it has succeeded in helping to sustain and enrich a vibrant evangelical Christian community. As I argue, the successes and difficulties of BAM and CCM highlight the opportunities and restrictions that exist when labelling any self-conscious arts movement. This is particularly true for the artistic expression in the UK, which is potentially bound together quite inextricably with wider issues of both ethnicity and public religion.

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