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  • Writer's pictureSTEVE COOKE AATA


By Steve Cooke

MACFEST Executive Director, team, community and volunteers have been working hard over the past year and are now ready to share with you an incredible programme for 2023. With over 75 events most of which are free and online, get ready to witness an exciting and diverse range of speakers, artists, cultures and more! An international line-up will take us on an unmissable arts and culture journey. With art, literature, culture, cuisine, photography, history, music, performance, children's, youth and women's panels!

MACFEST was born following 22 May 2017 when Manchester, and the world, was devastated by the attack on Manchester Arena that killed 23 people. One Manchester resident, Qaisra Shahraz, was quick to respond. Qaisra identified the need to tackle Islamophobia and bring muslim and non- communities together.

This really is an international art feast, with events hosted from Abu Dhabi, Scotland, Kuwait, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, and the USA. With themed festivals such as Youth, Women, Ramadan here are many highlights: including the amazing Hijrah Exhibition from Dammam, Saudi Arabia and ‘In conversation with Fatima Manji, a panel, with Channel 4’s newsreader and author.

You will find something for the whole family: literature, art, history, music, performance, photography, culture, comedy, art exhibitions, demonstrations, debates, women and youth panels, children’s activities, and art workshops.

MACFEST has a great line-up of local, national, and international speakers: performers, writers, academics, photographers, comedians, poets, newsreaders, artists and singers from Afghanistan - to the USA. UK. This initiative was established last year to celebrate Muslim women artists locally and internationally. With over 25 events hosted in the North West, and globally: from Australia to Tunisia - over 75 creative women, such as poets, performers, writers, photographers, artists, embroidery artists and calligraphers.

They are offering a hybrid programme with digital and live events with our wonderful partners across the North West, partnering and hosting events with Manchester Lit & Phil Society, The Writers’ Guild of Great Britain, Bury BAME Project, Bolton Sunnyside Club, Huddersfield Literature Festival, Sheba Arts, Yaron North West, The Literary Circle of Kirklees, Trafford/Stockport College Partnership Group, and the University of Manchester and Salford.

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