This website builds upon an exciting collaboration with the British Museum, which in 2012 hosted an extremely successful exhibition, Hajj: Journey to the Heart of Islam. Funded by an Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) award, Seán McLoughlin and his research team collected 40 in-depth interviews with pilgrims, tour operators, guides, community organisations and governance authorities.
At the very end of Hajj: Journey to the Heart of Islam excerpts from these interviews were used to create a “taped loop of British Muslims talking about their experience. The Yorkshire and home counties accents are inflected with unashamed awe and wonder” (The Observer 29 January 2012). However, the volume and the quality of the data collected suggested that, in a different format, British Muslim experiences of the Hajj could also be exhibited in more depth and across a wider variety of themes.
Therefore, during the summer of 2014, Seán and then student intern, Jo Merrygold, who was responsible for the technical side of this website, joined the University of Leeds’ ‘Creative Labs’ programme run by the Cultural and Creative Industries Exchange. Paired with technologist, Tim Waters, together they curated an online exhibition weaving together digital audio, images and text. Watch the team talking about their collaboration here.
From the left hand menu on this page you can navigate the exhibition which comprises 10 key themes illustrated by 30 three minute digital audio clips of British Muslims speaking about their experiences. The majority of these clips were drawn from the interviews collected by Seán and his research team ahead of Hajj: Journey to the Heart of Islam in 2012. Click here to start exploring the exhibition.