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Hamtramck in Perspective

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Thursday September 26th, 2019 from 6:00 - 8:00
Panel: Hamtramck in Perspective

-Sally Howell, Halal Metropolis Co-Creator
-Farhana Islam, Architect & Hamtramckan
-Greg Kowalski, Local Historian

About the Panelists:

Ever since catching an episode of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition at the age of nine, Farhana Islam has been interested in becoming an architect. It was not just the design and creativity of these homes that interested her, but how architecture could improve the lives of the families showcased. Farhana is a strong believer in the ability of architecture and research combined with participatory design thinking for strengthening communities and having a positive effect on the world. Only together can people build a better future. She recently graduated with her Master of Architecture from University of Detroit Mercy. Her graduate thesis was on diaspora directed development; primarily focused on the Bangladeshi-Muslim-American community in her hometown of the Detroit/Hamtramck area. Today she is a Project Coordinator at Berardi+ DETROIT where she is able to continue working on local projects in the ever evolving architectural landscape of the city and remain an active contributor to her community.

Sally Howell is Associate Professor of History and Director of the Center for Arab American Studies at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. Her books include Arab Detroit 9/11: Life in the Terror Decade (2011, Wayne State University Press), and Old Islam in Detroit: Rediscovering the Muslim American Past (2014, Oxford University Press). Howell's current research is about Muslim visibility in Detroit today and the political, social, and economic impact of the region's Muslim populations.

Author Greg Kowalski has been a journalist for more than 40 years and has written seven books on Hamtramck. He is chairman of the Hamtramck Historical Commission, which helped found the Hamtramck Historical Museum.

Halal Metropolis explores the facts, fictions, and the imaginaries of the Muslim population(s) in Detroit and Southeast Michigan as viewed through historical/ archival research, documentation of current conditions, and explorations of future desires. The Halal Metropolis alludes to the established and growing Muslim population in Detroit and the metro area, one of the largest and most diverse Muslim populations in the U.S., whose visibility is both pronounced and extremely present in the city, yet whose narrative seems unusually silent in the larger Detroit story. The exhibition moves beyond wanting to simply illustrate or document the current state of this halal metropolis intro exploring the congruent and contradicting ideas, aesthetics and cultures working to make the halal metropolis both a real and imaginary entity.

The project is organized by CAAS director Sally Howell, photographer, activist Razi Jafri, and artist and MFA Program Director at the Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design Osman Khan.